Jed Hoyer Explains Why None of the Just-Traded Core Wound Up Signing Extensions

Amidst a round of radio hits today to talk about the Trade Deadline and the days/weeks/months/years ahead for the Chicago Cubs, President Jed Hoyer explained on ESPN 1000 how it was that none of the Cubs’ core – outside of Kyle Hendricks – ever wound up signing an extension with the team. That, despite years of professing a desire to do exactly that, both by the team and by the players.

Hoyer wasn’t going to get into specifics, but he said WAY more than I would’ve expected in the context of the guys who were just traded by the team. From Hoyer’s perspective, he clearly didn’t feel they were seriously interested in negotiating:

In other words, Hoyer believed the Cubs had made fair value offers on extensions (when exactly? how much exactly?), and there was not thereafter any kind of meaningful counteroffer or negotiation. This is a pretty striking thing to now be saying publicly.

It’s hard to comment on the substance without knowing what happened, but there have been rumors and reports of a $200 million offer for Kris Bryant a few years ago, a $180 million offer for Javy Báez two springs ago, and the $70 million offer for Anthony Rizzo before the season started. You have to be careful taking those reports at face value, because there are obviously agendas involved, and the precise terms of the deal were never known. Bryant repeatedly denied that he ever turned down a deal “well north” of $200 million, for what that’s worth.

From where I sit, I can understand the urge to let people know, hey, we seriously did try to extend these guys and it was clear it just wasn’t going to happen, but in the wake of the trades, it does come off as bitter. And maybe Hoyer is bitter. Maybe he really did want to extend these guys but couldn’t make it work, and now he has to wear all the hostility of having “torn down” the Cubs. If that were true, I suppose I’d be bitter, too. At the moment, we really only have his statement, though, so we can’t know the objective truth.

Like everything over the past week, I’m gonna need a hot minute to digest this and then try to put it into the bigger context. If it’s true that these guys were absolutely never going to extend on anything approaching reasonable, then of course I’d agree with Hoyer that it was only rational to make the trades and get some talent back. But does that feel correct that the players truly never wanted to discuss extensions? Or does it feel like we’re just missing a little bit of clarifying information that Hoyer isn’t able or going to share?

Also: these guys aren’t a monolith. What happened in one of their cases might be slightly different from the others. Maybe there are great explanations in each case on why a deal never got done. I want to know the answers, but I also just feel a little … worn down from the past week. I don’t really have it in me to stew on this too deeply at the moment. Maybe when the inevitable response quotes come out …

The full transcription is here:

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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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