In the hopes that this will put an end to the conversation for a while, I want to share what Cubs President Jed Hoyer just talked about on the Cubs pre-game show on Marquee. I don’t have an exact transcript because I was taking notes as he spoke, but if the full video comes out I’ll add it to the post.
It was Hoyer responding to Anthony Rizzo’s response to Hoyer’s original comments about how and why the organization failed to extend certain players in advance of trading them last week. If you don’t already know about those, you can go back and read them, but the gist is: Hoyer said the Cubs tried to engage on extensions but didn’t feel like there was enough reciprocation/negotiation from the players; Rizzo wondered why you would even get into that stuff at all publicly, and the common denominator was that none of that group wound up signing an extension.
The pre-game comments …
⇒ Up front, Hoyer talked about how emotional last week was, how much he cares about Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javy Báez, and how he got too defensive on the radio yesterday when answering the question about extensions. He believes his comments came from a good place – caring about getting deals done, and being frustrated that it hadn’t happened, which then led to the trades – but it sure sounded like he knows he said too much.
⇒ He says he would never intend to say anything negative about those guys, and instead just was frustrated that the deals didn’t get done. That’s why the Cubs just don’t talk about extensions publicly, he said. Little bit of “telephone” if you start going back and forth.
⇒ Hoyer says there’s not really much drama here, and he’s talked to Rizzo many times over the last week. Not since the comments on the radio, but he kinda chuckled at the idea that he would and Rizzo would need to, citing a very close relationship (it sounded like it was very clear to him that there would not be an actual beef between him and Rizzo). “We’re all good. There’s no ill-will.”
⇒ Hoyer reiterated why the trades happened, and how there are still good relationships there. No bridges burned, according to Hoyer. “We’ll have those discussions this winter.”
⇒ We’ll see if and when the other players say anything, but it sounds like what we have here is a guy who said more than he intended to say because of frustration and defensiveness, tied to an emotional period of time, and he knows he shouldn’t have done it. This probably don’t need to be a major court case. We know that the extensions didn’t happen, and we know the Cubs would be frustrated on their side, just as the players might be frustrated on their side. I suspect this will be received as something of a mea culpa by Hoyer, and maybe this can be the end of it.*
*Subject to the inevitable future conversations about what the extensions offers ACTUALLY were, and what the players ACTUALLY get in free agency.