Will the Chicago Cubs extend Nico Hoerner this offseason?

Coming into the 2022 season Nico Hoerner never was able to stay on the field unfortunately for the majority of the baseball calendar year. In 2020 and 2021 Hoerner dealt with multiple injuries that kept him out of the lineup for extended periods of time. During the 2020 shortened season he played in 48 games, and in 2021 only 44 games.

In 2022, Hoerner was able to stay healthy for the majority of the season playing in 135 games and he did not disappoint either. He finished the year batting .281, OPS of .736, 10 home runs, and 55 RBI’s.

Hoerner had a very good year at the dish, but also had a really solid year defensively as well. In 133 games at shortstop he had a .974 fielding percentage with committing only 13 errors up the middle at short.

After this latest season for Hoerner it is time to start working on an extension this winter. Reports as of late say the Cubs will definitely have conversations with Hoerner’s camp to hopefully get an extension done this offseason. The former Stanford Cardinal in Hoerner is still under team control until 2026 when he is a free agent, but in 2023 he will be entering his first year of being eligible for arbitration.

It is also being reported that the newest gold glove winner in Ian Happ is another player that the Cubs will look to engage about a possible long term extension to keep him in Chicago.

The Chicago Cubs are expected to seriously engage Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ this offseason about long-term contract extensions, per @PJ_Mooney and @sahadevsharma.

The front office should try to lock Hoerner up on a more team friendly type deal. The Cubs did it with Anthony Rizzo years ago to give him security early on his Cubs career. That was almost 10 years ago with Rizzo and his extension, so probably will not be as big of a steal as it was with Rizzo but can still definitely be a team friendly deal.

If the Cubs and Hoerner were to agree on an extension it could be very beneficial for both sides. For Hoerner he gets a significant raise, plus the security as well. While the Cubs get to lock down one of their young players for a couple more years overall.

It also would be smart to lock up Hoerner now then see him go off and have an even better year in 2023 and have to pay him even more if you want to keep him in the Cubs organization for the foreseeable future.

Do the Cubs really need to sign another shortstop if they have Hoerner?

With Hoerner anchoring shortstop and doing it well do they Cubs really need to go shopping for a shortstop this winter?

There are multiple reports out there that the Cubs will be big spenders this offseason. Depending on who you follow in the media they are supposedly major players for the likes of Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson, and Carlos Correa. Also, he may not be a shortstop but rumors are swirling that the Cubs could be seen as a landing spot for longtime Chicago White Sox first baseman in Jose Abreu.

What is really good about Hoerner as a player is that he is athletic enough to play other positions on the diamond. He would have no issue sliding back over to second, or third if the Cubs were able to land one of the big named shortstops in this years free agent class. Some even think that he could be an above average center fielder if that is where the Cubs needed him to play in the field.

Do I feel the Cubs sign a shortstop this winter? I really do but could not tell you which one I think they end up getting on their end. The Cubs getting another shortstop is not because they do not believe in Hoerner, but just that they feel that getting one of the big names out there can really help the Cubs compete in 2023 and beyond. Adding one of those said free agent shortstops and having Hoerner up the middle would be a great duo.

Hopefully the Cubs and Hoerner can both agree to keep him on the north side for the next few seasons at minimum with an extension.

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