Nico Hoerner didn’t consider Opening Day to be the deadline. Though, like many players, he hoped to get a deal out of the way so that it was not a distraction. If an extension was bound to happen, Spring Training was the perfect time to come to an agreement.
“When I’m playing baseball, I like that to be where my head’s at,” Hoerner said near the start of camp. “It’s just more enjoyable that way, too. I want to have fun and be very present here.”
On Monday, the Cubs and Hoerner reached an agreement on a three-year, $35 million extension. The team has not confirmed the deal, which was reported first by ESPN’s Jeff Passan as the bulk of the Major League team was in the air and en route to Chicago.
The Cubs plan to hold a workout at Wrigley Field prior. Hoerner will arrive knowing that he does not need to worry about a contract for a few years. The extension will cover the two remaining years of arbitration. The third year allows the Cubs to keep Hoerner at least one extra season while giving him the opportunity to test free agency before his 30th birthday.
The extension is the first for the Cubs since signing pitcher Kyle Hendricks and utility man David Bote to multiyear deals at the start of the 2019 season. Over the years that followed, Chicago was unable to sign core stars Javier Báez, Kris Bryant or Anthony Rizzo to long-term extensions.
The Cubs are looking to turn the page and get back into the postseason. Nico Hoerner wants to be a part of that.
“I’m excited to hopefully share a locker room with players for multiple years on end,” Hoerner said in February. “We’ve had so much turnover in the last couple of years that — even though we’ve had nothing but good people come through here — it is harder to build those relationships when people aren’t around for very long.”
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