FOLKS! The Cubs Are in “Advanced Discussions” on a Nico Hoerner Extension!!! (UPDATE: It’s Happening!)
IT MIGHT ACTUALLY BE HAPPENING! FINALLY! PROBABLY! OK, ACTUALLY, BRETT, DON’T FALL FOR LUCY WITH THE FOOTBALL JUST YET.
Sorry. I’m just excited that it’s possible the Chicago Cubs will finally extend a core member of their organization:
That’s the kind of thing Ken Rosenthal tweets – especially when attaching a local beat like Sahadev Sharma – when a deal is highly likely to happen. As in, I’m going to speculate that the terms are agreed to and there are just final t’s to cross and i’s to dot.
Cubs President Jed Hoyer has said he preferred not to negotiate on extensions through Spring Training, but clearly this has been an exception. Hoerner, 25, hit .281/.327/.410/106 wRC+ for the Cubs last year, while playing exceptional defense at shortstop. He agreed to move to second base to accommodate the Dansby Swanson signing, and is under team control for three more seasons via arbitration.
UPDATE: It’s happening:
Hoerner was already signed for 2023 at $2.525 million, so this new deal kicks in after 2023 – it’s kind of like a four-year extension, though the spring training deals get described in various ways. Hoerner gets that first chunk of life-changing money, and the Cubs get his first free agent year at what could wind up a very reasonable price. Hoerner still can hit free agency before he turns 30, though this whole extension dance might happen again before then.
The Cubs get a sub-$12 million AAV on Hoerner for those latter three years, too, which I suspect – hope! – is a benefit to them (i.e., they plan to be over the luxury tax from time to time, so the AAV matters more … ).
Ideally, the Cubs would’ve also gotten an option year or two, but you can understand why Hoerner would not want to give those up, especially if he was getting paid for only one free agent year (at a likely below-market price). Still, I’m sure the Cubs are happy to get at least that one free agent year without having to pay a guy deep into his 30s. Might be a win-win, give-give situation.
There will be much more to say on this soon, but for now, it’s nice to know that Hoerner is going to be around for at least four more years, across the bag from Swanson. Also just nice to see the front office actually get SOME kind of deal done. There are more young players coming, and you like to see a precedent set.