Will the Cubs Core Have to Compete for Extensions? And Other Cubs Bullets

Is that a harmonica in ‘Karma Chameleon’? I did not remember that, and yet it’s really prominent! Any other songs with strangely prominent instruments that don’t otherwise fit with what you think is the sound of the song?

•   Some framing here from Patrick Mooney on Anthony Rizzo’s interest in an extension with the Cubs, and I want to discuss:

“This is a business,” Rizzo said Monday over Zoom from Arizona. “Playing for a while now, you understand that. You deal with so much outside noise at all times, from the second you step onto a big-league field. This is no different. At the end of it, you’re playing baseball. And I’m playing baseball with a lot of really good friends here. They’re not just teammates, they’re close friends that will be close friends forever.”

They’re also competitors in the sense that it’s hard to see the Cubs — with “one eye on the future” — making long-term commitments to Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Báez in the next 10 months. Hoyer has also said that spring training is the ideal time to sit down and talk about extensions.

•   It does *feel* unlikely that the Cubs would extend all three players on $100+ million deals, and you could probably question the wisdom of doing so (in the abstract) with a group of guys who’d be such a huge chunk of the payroll into their 30s. But at the same time, are we really going to suggest that it’s a race to see which guy or two guys accept an extension first, and then the books are closed? That’d sure seem an odd way to play things, because assuredly there IS a price tag at which you’d gladly extend any or all of the three guys. I suspect there is a relationship between the three and what the Cubs can/would decide to do, but I also suspect they’ve got an internal preference on who they’d most want to extend and at what price.

•   The big rub on extensions right now continues to be the CBA, though, since it expires in December. There’s just soooooo much uncertainty about what the baseball financial world is going to look like in 2022 and beyond, which could cut in a dozen different directions about how the players should proceed, how the team should proceed, what could look like a “win” a year from now, etc. If you decide not to proceed – the team or the player – you’re taking a huge risk. If you decide to put pen to paper right now – the team or the player – you’re also taking a bigger risk than usual. I want to say I’d be surprised if NO ONE is extended by the Cubs this spring, but then I would’ve been surprised years ago if you told me none of the offensive core would be extended by the time these three were in their walk year.

•   (Also, obviously, there are other guys the Cubs could consider extending this spring. Those three are the most discussed for obvious reasons, but I can see plenty of reason to talk to Ian Happ and Willson Contreras, too.)

•   It comes up so often that I wanted to offer another reminder on just how extremely brief Nico Hoerner’s path to the big leagues has been:

•   Adidas gear, security gear, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad

•   I don’t know if it’s for everyone, but the NASA Perseverance mission on Mars is really something else. The images, and video, and audio that we’re getting sent to us from 132 MILLION MILES AWAY is pretty special. I also think it’s very cool that we watched the launch last July, and now it’s already there. The landing, and the surface:

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Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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