It was a different tune for Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer on Tuesday when he was asked where things stand between the Cubs and impending free agent center fielder Cody Bellinger.
After the 2023 Major League Baseball Trade Deadline, Hoyer could not hide his giddiness when talking about Bellinger and what he means to the organization. While there was never a thought that Bellinger was going to sign an in-season extension with the Cubs, Hoyer's openness about what the former National League MVP meant to the team was a sign of hope.
That hope was not present on Tuesday when Hoyer met with reporters during his press conference to put a bow on the Cubs' 2023 season.
Hoyer was asked about Bellinger's status with the team on Tuesday and was far more guarded with his response.
"“We’ll have a lot of conversations with him,” he said. “It’s going to be a process. It’s going to play out for a while. I think the world of Cody, and we’re certainly going to be in communication.”"- Jed Hoyer via NBC Sports Chicago
Bellinger being a Scott Boras client while coming off a 2023 season that saw him return to being one of the more potent offensive players in the National League is not going to be a free agent that signs quickly.
It would seem that the Cubs have length and dollar amount that they are comfortable with and anything beyond that, the team may look elsewhere such as a potential trade for New York Mets' first baseman Pete Alonso.
If the Cubs are unable to reach terms on a new contract with Bellinger, there would be a lot of work for Hoyer to accomplish if the offense is going to be improved to a point where they can be legitimate post-season contenders in 2024.