Cubs: Nico Hoerner shows he deserves extension with Dansby Swanson comments

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

After turning in a breakout season playing the shortstop position last year, Nico Hoerner could have taken the Dansby Swanson signing as a slap in the face. Instead, he's embraced his new teammate and is ready to form one of the most formidable middle infield combinations in the league.

"Listen, ultimately, Nico’s a winner. And he’s the one who’s going to get moved off his position from last year. But I also think he knows just how good he is at second base, and I’m certainly expecting nothing short of Gold Glove quality out of both guys."

Jed Hoyer, via NBC Sports Chicago

When the Cubs informed Hoerner of their intentions to pursue one of the four free agent shortstops, the former Gold Glove finalist made his feeling perfectly clear: get it done. It's just the latest example of the team-first mentality that's made him a favorite of both the organization and the fanbase in recent years - and it bolsters his case for an extension this winter.

Cubs need to do right by Nico Hoerner and extend him this winter

Hoerner, along with All-Star outfielder Ian Happ, were already previously singled out as extension candidates for the Cubs this winter. After failing to extend virtually the entire core last time around, locking up some homegrown guys would go a long way toward solidifying the long-term outlook of the club with two dynamic talents.

In 2022, Hoerner ranked in the 98th percentile in outs above average and strikeout rate, 97th in whiff rate and 92nd in sprint speed. That culminated in a standout all-around season, where he was widely viewed as one of the National League's best defensive shortstops and put together a 4.5 bWAR.

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His on-field performance, paired with this latest evidence of a team-first approach to the game, make Hoerner a perfect guy to build around alongside Swanson for years to come. Now, we wait and see if the Cubs can get it done or if he'll become the latest in a long line guys who were shown the door sooner than we'd have liked.