All things are on the table for the Cubs as they enter their ‘‘year of transition’’ in 2021, but one of their priorities is keeping their star players for the foreseeable future.
President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said this month that Cubs officials would sit down with their core players this spring and talk about contract extensions. Shortstop Javy Baez, third baseman Kris Bryant and first baseman Anthony Rizzo all will be eligible for free agency after this season.
Rizzo, who is considered the face of the franchise, said he wouldn’t mind trying to figure something out during spring training.
‘‘Obviously, seeing Jed’s comments and just getting to talk to Jed about the team and whatnot has been nice,’’ Rizzo said. ‘‘But, yeah, this city and everything that I love about the city, I kind of wear on my sleeve. I still love it. I still love our team. I still love what we have going on here.
‘‘And, you know, keeping everything here, inside this building, I think would be the smartest approach for everyone. As far as a timeline? I’m not really sure. We haven’t really talked too much about any of that.
‘‘Like Jed said, spring training is the perfect time. . . . This is a business, and playing for a while now, you understand that. You deal with so much outside noise from the second you step onto a big-league field, and this is no different.’’
Ross addresses team
The Cubs met as a group for the first time this spring at Sloan Park, and manager David Ross addressed the team before its first full-squad workout.
There has been a lot of talk surrounding the Cubs in the last few months after their moves this offseason, but Ross had a message for his players to kick off his second season at the helm.
‘‘I tried to tell them who I am, what I expect, some of the characteristics that I’ve seen over my time being a player and some of the things I learned last year that are important to me as a manager,’’ Ross said. ‘‘Then I talked a little bit about setting intentions about where we want to improve. . . .
‘‘I wanted them to know how I saw them, what I saw when I stared out at the group that [was] on the field and the group that was looking back at me and the ones that are in that locker room. What they’ve done in this game, what my mentality is when I look into their eyes and see them and how I see them outside of what maybe another narrative might be.’’
Braves claim Ervin
Outfielder Phillip Ervin was claimed off waivers by the Braves. The Cubs designated him for assignment Saturday after their signing of outfielder Jake Marisnick was made official. Marisnick will be the Cubs’ fourth outfielder.