Jed did it! He finally got a player to sign an extension!
Wait, for how long? Well, at least it wasn't Happ.
Cubs President of Being On The Front Edge of Something, Jed Hoyer has been talking for years now about how hard he tried to re-sign the key guys from “the core” and how it never worked out but that the Cubs and the players would look back on the offers some day with hindsight and know that the Cubs offered more than the players eventually signed for with other teams.
Great? I guess.
Funny, I always thought the best outcome when you tried to sign a player was to actually sign them.
Anyway, after trying and failing and failing and failing, Jed finally did it.
Last night the Cubs announced a long term deal with second baseman Nico Hoerner.
Hey, cool. You know the Barves have been signing their good young players (except for one and you know who that was) for six, seven, eight years. Buying out their arbitration years and the first few years of free agency. It’s just good business if you have any confidence in your young players and your ability to continue to develop them even at the big league level.
So, cool. It’ll be great to have Nico locked up to a team friendly deal, one that gives him security, for what, five or six years at least.
Three? Three years? Two years of arbitration and ONE year of free agency?
Let me tell you how I learned about this. As often happens to me I was watching TV and one of my dogs decided she would like to take a nap on me, and I’m always cool with that, but my phone was just out of arm’s reach. I could either momentarily disturb the dog and grab my phone to see what’s going on in the world, or I could stay very still so that I didn’t disturb her.
Two hours later I could see the notifications popping up on my screen. I finally woke her up as I grabbed my phone and I swear, this is the first Tweet I saw.
To read this, you’d actually think this signing was a big deal, and some kind of grand coup for the Cubs.
They got one extra year. Nico was guaranteed to be a Cub for this season and two more, and now he’s guaranteed to be a Cub for this season and three more.
I mean, it’s not nothing.
But it’s also not really that much something.
I think the thing that’s funnier than trying to make what amounts to a one-year, $20 million contract…in 2026…is that so many people are acting like this is such an amazing accomplishment for the Cubs.
Look how far we’ve fallen and how fast we’ve done it.
For a brief period of time we were a proper fanbase. We rooted for champions.
Now, we act like tacking one extra year onto the deal for a guy with a lifetime OPS+ of 98 is like the Packers signing Reggie White in 1993.
This is a great deal…for Nico. He gets $15 million total for 2024 and 2025 which is on the conservative side of what he’d have gotten in arbitration if he’d stayed healthy (which he rarely does) those years and he cashes in with $20 million in his age 28 season.
For the Cubs, it’s…fine. He’s a solid player, and as a result of the great purge of 2021 one of their few good ones. It’s not an overpay in total value. But if this is supposed to be a big deal and some harbinger of the greatness of this front office and the things to come, the bar is low.
Honestly, the best thing I can say about this deal is that at least it wasn’t Ian Happ.
Over the weekend, Jed did an interview with Jon Greenberg of The Athletic and most of his answers were good but not noteworthy, except for two.
Jed got to the very end of the interview and then, maybe he was tired but he kind of fell apart.
Here was the second to last question:
With that being said, do you have enough power pitching and power hitting right now? Is that something that worries you?
Now the simple answer to these two questions posed as one is:
Check out how Jed started his answer.
“Our defense is going be really good…”
So, basically I guess he answered it the way I wanted him to.
These Cubs are just as haphazardly constructed as last year’s were, they just cost more, and apparently that’s going to result in more wins. Hey, I’m all for Jed pissing away the Garbage Family That Owns The Cubs™’s money, but even with bigger bases, the pitch clock, the ban on players under 5’2 (that’s not a rule, I’m just hoping one of the Cubs reads this and believes it), and the rest of the new rules, baseball in the 21st century is still all about big arms and big bats, and stars. Teams don’t win without stars. The Cubs have none of that.
One thing I think is kind of silly is the “Next great Cubs team” narrative. You buy into that?
Just a great question and burn from Jon. Because you know who started the “Next great Cubs team” thing?
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