Padres bring in Boston's Hoyer as new GM

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35-year-old Jed Hoyer, an assistant GM for the Red Sox, will be named the replacement for Kevin Towers in San Diego, according to the Boston Globe and several other sources.
The former Wesleyan University closer earned the gig on his third try, having previously interviewed for openings in Pittsburgh and D.C. He had been with the Red Sox since 2002, and he was briefly one of the people in charge of personnel decisions when Theo Epstein left the team after the 2005 season.
This may well be a better situation for him than the previous potential gigs, though he’ll have to deal with modest payrolls. The Padres do have an advantage in assembling their roster in that their ballpark is so unique. Sure, it will be difficult to lure top hitters to Petco Park, but the Padres aren’t going to be bidding for them very often anyway. San Diego will remain a terrific destination for starters and relievers looking to revive their careers, so the Padres should be focusing more on offense in the draft.
Some will wonder why the Padres didn’t go for someone with more of a scouting background, given that the acquisition of young talent through the draft and Latin America was far and away former GM Kevin Towers’ biggest weakness. However, new CEO Jeff Moorad made it clear he was looking for more of an analyst than a scout in the GM role. Hoyer dealt mostly with major league player acquisitions in Boston, so he’ll be looking elsewhere for help in the scouting department.
Oddly enough, the Padres and Red Sox may end up trading front office personnel here. The Red Sox are known to have offered Towers a position in the organization, and if he accepts, it seems likely that he’d take on some of Hoyer’s responsibilities.

Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery could share Cubs’ rotation spot in 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01:  Mike Montgomery #38 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon hasn’t selected a fifth starter for his 2017 rotation yet, but told reporters that he could envision left-handers Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery sharing the spot throughout the year. Neither pitcher was stretched out to the full 200-inning threshold last year, Maddon added, and suggested that the two could alternate innings out of the rotation and bullpen as needed (via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat).

Anderson, 29, was acquired by the Cubs in January on a $3.5 million deal. He’s coming off a rough 2016, during which he underwent back surgery and missed all but 11 1/3 innings of his last season with the Dodgers. His last full, healthy year in the majors yielded a 3.69 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 over 180 1/3 innings with Los Angeles in 2015.

Montgomery, meanwhile, is vying for a rotation spot after pitching almost exclusively from the bullpen during the second half of the Cubs’ 2016 run. The 27-year-old lefty put up a 2.82 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings for Chicago last year, returning in the postseason to post a 3.14 ERA during the Cubs’ championship finish.

Maddon also mentioned the possibility of throwing a sixth starter into the mix, which would help prevent his other starters from getting overworked too early in the year. Either way, Anderson and Montgomery are expected to get a lot of looks early in spring training as rotation spots are finalized in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.

Michael Bourn to miss four weeks with a broken finger

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 6:  Michael Bourn #1 of the Baltimore Orioles looks out of the dugout as he waits to get on deck to bat during the sixth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 6, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Orioles’ center fielder Michael Bourn is expected to be sidelined for four weeks while he rehabs a broken ring finger on his right hand, according to reports from the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck. Bourn broke the finger while playing catch with a football after a spring training workout.

The veteran outfielder re-signed with the club earlier this week on a minor league deal and was prepared to compete for a bench role this season. He’s in line to receive a $2 million salary if he makes the major league roster and can make an additional $3.5 million in incentives based on a set number of plate appearances. Now, however, his chances of cracking the roster out of spring training look considerably diminished, as his current timetable gives him an approximate return date of March 25 if all goes well.

Bourn had an impressive, if short-lived run with the Orioles following his trade to Baltimore last August, batting .283/.358/.435 with two home runs and a .793 OPS in 55 PA. While still somewhat removed from the totals that brought him an All-Star nod with the Braves in 2012, his defensive chops should give the Orioles some depth in center once he’s healthy again.