Cubs Have “Started the Process” on Extension Talks with Ian Happ and Nico Hoerner

OK. The arbitration salary deadline has now passed, with the Chicago Cubs coming to agreements with both Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ. That’s done. On to the next thing.

The next thing is extensions. Yes. Again. At every possible checkpoint, it feels like NOW is the time to talk about extensions with Hoerner and Happ. With Spring Training less than a month away, it doesn’t get any more now-ish than this.

At the Cubs Convention this weekend, president Jed Hoyer confirmed that the interest is still there, though he was guarded on how much he was going to share.

“I can’t tell you where those talks stand,” Hoyer said, per Marquee. “I can tell you we have interest in both guys, keeping them long term. We have started the process, I would say, with both. We have had dialogue with the agents.

“Where we are in the process or what the offers are, I would never reveal. Certainly there is a real desire on our part. We have had meetings with both Nico’s and Ian’s representatives.”

Process. Dialogue. Meetings. Representatives. Those are the key words, and the ones you could play with a bit to make Hoyer’s statements a significant reveal … or mostly nothing.

Hoyer, himself, has said he would prefer to have any extension talks done before Spring Training, so if the dialogue is going to proceed to something more substantive, it’s gonna have to happen soon.

I won’t belabor the desire to see both Hoerner and Happ extended. We’ve made the case many times, and the short version is that it is simply not hard to see how each guy could remain a valuable part of the team – however constructed – for the next several years (Hoerner more than Happ, but a reasonable deal for Happ looks compelling, too, depending on the length). So I’m glad to hear that there have been dialogues or meetings or whatever. That seems like a solid preliminary step, even if it hardly guarantees the Cubs and Happ/Hoerner actually get close to a deal.

Because the Cubs have not had much success in extending their players over the last decade, I doubt anyone will be betting on deals to get done until we actually hear the announcement.

written by

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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