Padres officially name Josh Byrnes as general manager, Hoyer and McLeod head to Cubs

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None of this will come as a surprise to the HBT readership because it has been public knowledge for weeks, but the Cubs and Padres finally announced in a joint press release Wednesday night that Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod are headed to Chicago and that Josh Byrnes has officially been promoted to the position of general manager back in San Diego.

The Padres will get a PTBNL from the Cubs as compensation — probably a low-level prospect.

Hoyer is being given the title of “executive vice president and general manager” in Chicago, while McLeod will be called the “director of scouting and player development.” They’ll both be introduced at a press conference Monday at Wrigley Field and will report directly to new Cubs president Theo Epstein.

As for Byrnes, he becomes the ninth general manager in the history of the Padres franchise.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves