Jed Hoyer glad players receptive to idea of staying with Cubs for long term
“I think that’s great that they feel that way about this place,” Cubs president Jed Hoyer said Sunday. “It’d be disappointing after this much time with these players if they felt otherwise.”
MESA, Ariz. — Much of the discussion surrounding the Cubs during the first full week of spring training has centered on the futures of Javy Baez, Kris Bryant and -Anthony Rizzo. All three will be free agents after the 2021 season.
When camp opened, Cubs president Jed Hoyer said the organization would like to sit down with its three superstars to discuss the possibility of long-term deals this spring. All three players spoke about the matter this week and are receptive to the idea.
There’s no guarantee that anything gets done before the team breaks camp, but the fact that all sides are willing to listen is a good place to start.
“It’s the best time of year to have those conversations,” Hoyer said. “I think the danger of having those discussions or opening things up publicly is this notion that if you don’t get something done by Opening Day, talks failed or fell apart. So I think there’s a real risk in that and not with us. . . . I’d love to have conversations with these guys and their agents, kind of talk through where we are.
“I think it’s a testament to ownership and the front office and the coaching staff and all the staff that guys want to be here. They enjoy the environment. Obviously, we got the ballpark and the fan base and the city, but people want to be here. And that’s a great thing. And that was kind of the theme I felt in reading all the parade of articles one day after another with guys saying that. More as a collective, I think that’s great that they feel that way about this place. And, you know, it’d be disappointing after this much time with these players if they felt otherwise.”
Seven-inning games this spring
MLB is allowing teams the option of playing abbreviated games this spring if both teams agree beforehand. According to manager David Ross, the Cubs will be playing mostly seven-inning games for various reasons, including health, this spring with the exception of one nationally televised game on ESPN.
“We’ve had different phone calls with different organizations,” he said. “There are some organizations that feel like they want to push it to nine [innings], and some organizations that we’ve talked to feel like they’re gonna have trouble finding five. I think it all depends on pitching and strategy and . . . what teams are doing with their pitching.”
Ryan activated off COVID list
The Cubs activated left-hander Kyle Ryan off the COVID-19 list on Sunday.
Ryan, 29, was able to participate in team activities on Saturday.
Right-hander Robert Stock was designated for assignment to make room for Ryan on the team’s 40-man roster.
Cubs’ lineup Monday at San Diego
1B Anthony Rizzo
C Willson Contreras
LF Joc Pederson
SS Javy Baez
RF Cameron Maybin
2B David Bote
3B Ildemaro Vargas
CF Ian Miller
DH P.J. Higgins
P Kyle Hendricks