As the trade deadline gets smaller in the rear view mirror and a new era of Chicago Cubs baseball is ushered in, fans are left angry, confused and saddened why not a single member of the core of the 2016 World Series-winning team is no longer on the roster.
What I see Hoyer implying here, though he wished deals could have been done, is that this is more on the players not willing to negotiate, thinking all three of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez were given very fair offers and the players are acting is if they are worth more. Ultimately, both sides sat back and pointed the finger at each other in terms of who’s in the wrong, time carried on and Jed did what he felt he had to do.
"“The extensions we offered these guys will hold up exceptionally well against the open market. I don’t know why guys didn’t want to sign. I don’t know why guys didn’t want to even counteroffer, often times,” said Hoyer (per Bleacher Nation.)"
In a video posted by NBC Sports here, you can hear the latest from Jed Hoyer in response to Anthony Rizzo.
"“We’ve known each other for a long time. We’ve had a lot of conversations over the years, we’ve had a bunch of conversations this week. I think the world of him. I think the world of all those guys. “"
Obviously, Hoyer doesn’t have any ill will against Rizzo here but unfortunately, any type of bad blood between the two sides now truly signals the end of an era.
Pretend you’re the general manager in Chicago and let’s take Baez, for example. The former MVP runner-up reportedly wanted a contract worth $200 million to stick around with the Cubs and forego free agency. When it comes to the fans of the game, they see the monster contracts being signed by some of these players and think “Well that’s not a lot compared to so and so!”
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But the real question here is, do you want to lock up a player to $25 million a year that’s batting .240, leading the league in strikeouts and ranks second in the NL amongst shortstops in errors in the field? If it wasn’t Javier Baez that Cubs fans adored for so many years, the answer would emphatically be, “Of course not!”
No, this isn’t a knock on Baez or any other Cubs player that warmed the hearts of fans for the better part of the last decade. This is simply reality if you’re the president of baseball operations and it’s your job to make sure the team is set up for long-term success.
Another aspect is, what if Tom Ricketts just wants to be on the cheaper side? Hoyer is the one person who can’t come out and say that. He has to take the blame. People sometimes forget that it’s not Jed who opens the checkbook and pays his players. It’s ownership. Hoyer can’t do anything financially until he has the OK to do so from the man himself.
With all this in mind, will the Cubs still find a way to bring back any piece of the core in the offseason? If Ricketts wouldn’t extend Rizzo higher than five years and $70 million, it seems doubtful he’d be willing to offer anything else. One thing is for sure. The Cubs front office and the (former) Cubs core players need to stop playing the blame game and let bygones be bygones if they ever hope to reunite in the future.
I agree that for one, if a deal couldn’t be done, trading a player to get whatever you can for him is the right thing to do. You can’t let a player with value walk for nothing. The reason there’s a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth is simply because of who it was that was traded. If it was any other player on the Cubs roster post 2016, I don’t believe there would be this many feelings hurt. Hopefully, the organization and its former core can sew up the wounds and we can hold on to whatever shreds of hope there is left that there will be a reunion.