MESA, Ariz. — It’s no secret that shortstop Javy Baez, third baseman Kris Bryant and first baseman Anthony Rizzo will become free agents at the end of the season — meaning the Cubs have some decisions to make over the next few months about which of their star players will be around for the next five to seven years.
Team president Jed Hoyer said last week he’d like to approach the topic of contract extensions with some of the Cubs’ soon-to-be free agents this spring. Rizzo said Monday he’d be open to having those conversations, and Bryant also welcomes talks about staying in Chicago long-term.
“I’ve always said I’m open and willing to hear whatever Jed now has to say,” Bryant said. “[I’ll] take it with open arms and consider everything that is thrown my way. I think I’ve communicated that well with them. They know where I stand. They know what I think.”
Spring debut for Hendricks
Right-hander Kyle Hendricks will start the Cubs’ Cactus League opener Monday against the Padres. That would line him up to be the Opening Day starter against the Pirates on April 1 — the second straight year he would have that honor. The Cubs haven’t officially named an Opening Day starter yet.
“The whole time we’ve kind of had that March 1 day pegged for Hendricks,” pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. “That was going to be it the whole time, just as you work backwards to the start of the season.”
Wick still stalled
The Cubs hope right-hander Rowan Wick is still part of their bullpen in 2021, but it’s yet to be determined when he can rejoin them on the field. He has an intercostal injury — related to the strained left oblique that forced him to miss the end of the regular season and the postseason —which has kept him from starting baseball activities this spring.
“It’s something that continues to linger,” manager David Ross said. “I know the doctor and the training staff has been on top of it, and it’s been something they’ve been trying to navigate all offseason and figure out. He’s going to get some more testing . . . to some different tests that he may not have had up to this point. They’re trying to at least give him some clarity of really what’s going on, because I don’t think anybody really at this point is understanding where the pain is coming from.”