Jed Hoyer glad players receptive to idea of staying with Cubs long termRussell Dorseyon March 1, 2021 at 12:28 am

John Antonoff/Chicago Sun-Times

“I think that’s great that they feel that way about this place,” president Jed Hoyer said Sunday. “It’d be disappointing after this much time with these players if they felt otherwise.”

MESA, Ariz. – Much of the discussion surrounding the Cubs during the first full week of spring training has been about the future of Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo. All three players will be free agents after the 2021 season.

When camp opened, president Jed Hoyer stated that the team would like to sit down with its three superstars to discuss the possibility of a long-term deal this spring. All three players spoke about the matter this week and are open and receptive to the idea.

There’s no guarantee that anything gets done before the team breaks camp, but the fact that all sides are willing to listen is a good place to start.

“It’s the best time of year to have those conversations,” Hoyer said. “I think the danger of having those discussions or opening things up publicly is this notion that if you don’t get something done by the opening day, like talks failed, or fell apart. So I think there’s a real risk in that and not with us. … I’d love to have conversations with these guys and their agents, kind of talk through where we are.

“I think it’s a testament to ownership and the front office and the coaching staff and all the staff that guys want to be here. They enjoy the environment. Obviously, we got the ballpark and the fan base and the city, but like people want to be here. And that’s a great thing. And that was kind of the theme I felt reading all the parade of articles one day after another with guys saying that. More as a collective, I think that’s great that they feel that way about this place. And you know, it’d be disappointing after this much time with these players if they felt otherwise.”

Cubs to play seven-inning games this spring

MLB is allowing teams the option of playing abbreviated games this spring, if both teams agree prior. According to manager David Ross, the Cubs will be playing mostly seven-inning games for various reasons, including health, the remainder of the spring with the exception being one nationally televised game on ESPN.

“We’ve had different phone calls with different organizations,” he said. “I think there’s some organizations that feel like they want to push it to nine [innings] and some organizations that we’ve talked to feel like they’re gonna have trouble finding five. I think it all depends on pitching and strategy and … what teams are doing with their pitching.”

Ryan activated off COVID-19 list

The Cubs activated left-hander Kyle Ryan off the COVID-19 list on Sunday. Ryan, 29, was able to participate in team activities on Saturday. Right-hander Robert Stock was designated for assignment to make room for Ryan on the team’s 40-man roster.

Cubs’ lineup Monday at San Diego

1B Anthony Rizzo
C Willson Contreras
LF Joc Pederson
SS Javier Báez
RF Cameron Maybin
2B David Bote
3B Ildemaro Vargas
CF Ian Miller
DH P.J. Higgins

P Kyle Hendricks

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