As expected, Cubs President Jed Hoyer’s comments on his frustration that the Cubs didn’t extend any of the three players traded last week – Kris Bryant, Javy Báez, and Anthony Rizzo – led to a response. Hoyer essentially said that the Cubs tried very hard to extend these guys, made fair offers, and didn’t feel like the players/their reps were reciprocating in that effort to come to a deal. He didn’t feel like there were real negotiations. They were strong and surprising comments.
So, sure enough, the players are going to respond. In this case, it’s Anthony Rizzo on ESPN 1000, expressing surprise and almost disbelief that it even came up.
Rizzo’s comments on the Kap & J. Hood show:
“Why? It just sounds like a bad break up when someone says they’re fine but they’re really not fine. When it comes to the guys on our team and what we did [lists accomplishments], and good people, those things cost money. So it comes down to a business. You want your cake and you want to eat it, too. That’s just how it seemed. I think it can all speak for itself that there’s a common denominator is that no one signed …. We just had such great memories there, that, to come out on air and say that doesn’t really make sense, but it is what it is.”
Anthony Rizzo on Jed Hoyer’s comments on Monday morning about the core not wanting to sign extensions.
— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) August 3, 2021
I definitely agree with the initial “Why?” I hate that we have to get into this stuff.
Rizzo, who reportedly received a then-considered-extremely-modest five-year, $70 million extension offer before this season, is understandably chapped by Hoyer putting his perspective out there after the fact. He’s very entitled to put his thoughts out there, and we as fans are entitled to NOT WANT this kind of ugly back-and-forth pissing match to emerge. It’s really disappointing, and it wasn’t necessary.
Now that it’s started, you know what I just hope we get? More details on EXACTLY what was offered by the Cubs, EXACTLY WHEN it was offered, and if/when/how much the players responded. Then we can just evaluate from the outside whether the discussions were reasonable and a deal just didn’t get done, whether the player(s) were unreasonable in their requests and the team really did put their best foot forward, or whether the team’s idea of a good and fair offer was just a complete low-ball. I hate that this ball has started rolling, but I don’t hate wanting to know the truth of the talks and the offers and what led up to the trades. It helps us contextualize what happened, what could or could not have happened instead, and how we think about whatever comes next.
Meanwhile, it’s worth remembering just how much Rizzo wanted to get a deal done, and did for years try to engage the Cubs before Spring Training:
He did not want to leave the Cubs and he wanted to be in Chicago his whole entire career. pic.twitter.com/nQx1l0T9W9
— Cubs Live (@Cubs_Live) August 3, 2021