Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer is facing some incredibly difficult decisions about the future of the club, but he says that he intends to have conversations with all of the team’s impending free agents, including Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, during spring training in Arizona.
Bryant and Rizzo, along with shortstop Javier Báez, all will be unrestricted free agents at season’s end, and Hoyer says that he intends to talk with all three about their futures with the Cubs.
“I’ll definitely sit down with those guys during spring training and talk to them about their futures and we’ll talk about contracts,” he said during a press conference in Mesa. “We’ll have those discussions over the course of spring, and it’s a perfect time for it.”
Even with impending free agency on the table, Hoyer says that the team is currently proceeding with all three players on the roster, and that he doesn’t envision a big shake-up prior to the team’s opening series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“By and large, I would expect this is what our team is going to look like,” he said. “I don’t expect major transactions from a free agent nature, going forward. As far as trades, right now we’re not currently engaged in any trade talks, and we haven’t been for a little while now. Could someone make that phone call? Yeah, someone could, but I’m not anticipating it.”
Bryant has been the subject of plenty of trade rumors throughout the offseason, with the most serious of those rumors having him moving to the New York Mets for his final season before free agency. Hoyer quashed that speculation, calling the reports “inaccurate.”
Even still, Hoyer says that he is attuned to the reality that the Cubs likely won’t be able to afford to keep all three players beyond this season, and he says that while it’s difficult for him, and for Cubs fans, to see three key pieces of the 2016 World Series title-winning squad potentially leave, that the reality of the team’s payroll situation will require them to make tough choices.
“These guys have been fantastic Cubs that did something historic together,” he said. “It’s unrealistic to keep all the players that were a significant part of 2016, and that’s just reality.”