It’s nowhere near the length or value anyone predicted, but the Cubs and Nico Hoerner have agreed to a three-year, $35 million extension. This buys out one year of potential free agency and allows Hoerner to hit the market at 29 years old if a subsequent deal isn’t reached.
Second baseman Nico Hoerner and the Chicago Cubs are in agreement on a three-year, $35 million contract extension, sources tell ESPN. Deal buys out one year of free agency, but Hoerner still will hit the market at 29. Final two arbitration years priced ~$15M and FA year at ~$20M.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 28, 2023
Since Hoerner has already agreed to a salary for this season, the “new” money will kick in next year. The next two seasons of the deal will be worth about $15 million, with the free agency season valued at around $20 million, not a bad deal at all for Hoerner.
Ed. note: I was in a bit of a rush when both this news and my keyboard broke, so working exclusively from my phone limits my editorial capacity. Analysis was limited at the time and will be for the next few days, so I may string thoughts along as needed.
This deal feels to me like something the Cubs felt compelled to do just to throw fans a bone and keep most of the egg off Jed Hoyer’s face after all the talk of extending players before spring training started. And while a deal with Ian Happ isn’t completely out of the question, this makes it feel even less likely than before.
It’s just sort of odd that Hoerner is getting what appears to be a much higher salary in that free agent year than he would have in a longer deal, yet the Cubs hardly secured anything more than they already had on his rookie deal. After all the fussing and cussing about the Cubs not getting extensions done, they finally did something and it still sits funny with me.