CHICAGO -- Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Friday that he expected the Brewers to be aggressive this offseason but that the division rival's recent moves won't alter Chicago's plans.
Hoyer was asked about the slow offseason and the Brewers' acquisitions of outfielders Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain during an interview on the The Spiegel and Parkins Show on WSCR 670.
"They were a young, fun team to watch last year, sort of a team on the come probably a year before they thought, like the '15 Cubs," Hoyer said. "It made sense they would be aggressive. I think they have a chance to be really good. The Cardinals have added a bunch of really good pieces this winter, too.
"We've been in first place [in the Central Division] two years in a row, and I think you expect teams are going to try to knock you off," Hoyer said. "It's the nature of it, you have to expect it and, obviously, the Brewers had a good day yesterday."
When Hoyer and Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein worked for the Red Sox, they learned to focus on their team and not react to what the Yankees did. That same philosophy applies with the Cubs, Hoyer said.
"Every year we had to be disciplined -- this is what we want to do, this is our plan," Hoyer said. "When you get into a game of reacting to what your opponents do, I think you can make a lot of mistakes. You have to stay with your plan, stay with what you want to do and know that teams are going to come after you and know that teams in your division are going to get better. They want to win as much as you want to win."
The Cubs are still in the market for another starting pitcher and have been linked to free agents Yu Darvish, Jacob Arrieta and Alex Cobb. Hoyer would not provide any updates on negotiations with any players but said conversations with agents have developed into "a little bit of a staredown."
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"[Adding pitching] is still something we're trying to address," Hoyer said. "The good thing is the same [free agents] are still out there. Nothing has changed from the supply side. They'll get [deals] done. These people will pitch in the big leagues next year."
The Cubs' front-office staff isn't sitting back, admiring their 2016 World Series championship rings. Hoyer said he and Epstein don't ever wear them. They're focused on the future.
"That's in the past," Hoyer said. "You have to look at it that 2018 is our focus. Yes, there's no question that ring is never going away, those memories are never going away, but that can't have any impact whatsoever on our job."