The Chicago Cubs team that helped the franchise break its long-standing curse was broken up at this year’s MLB trade deadline. And team executive Jed Hoyer did not just break up the team, he completely restructured it.
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, Joc Pederson, Craig Kimbrel, Ryan Tepera, Trevor Williams and Andrew Chafin were all sent packing.
Hoyer said on ESPN 1000’s “Kap & J Hood” show Monday that the Cubs tried hard to retain many of the team’s top players and made fair contract offers, but the negotiations didn’t go anywhere in some cases.
“The extensions we offered these guys will hold up exceptionally well. Historically, they’ll hold up exceptionally well against the open market. I don’t know why guys didn’t want to sign. I don’t know why guys didn’t want to even counteroffer, often times,” Hoyer said.
Rizzo felt it was wrong of Hoyer to place the blame on the players. The first baseman implied that the Cubs did not make him a fair offer.
“I expressed for two, three, four years how I really wanted to do a deal and get a deal done with the Cubs and get a deal done for life. So I think in spring training, when the deal at the time, didn’t even come close to happening, that’s when I kind of hurt the most and the writing was kind of on the wall that it was kind of going in a new direction,” Rizzo said Tuesday on “Kap & J Hood.”
He did not want to leave the Cubs and he wanted to be in Chicago his whole entire career. pic.twitter.com/nQx1l0T9W9
— Cubs Live (@Cubs_Live) August 3, 2021
This is not new information. We knew in March that the two sides were far apart in their contract talks. The difference is that Hoyer likely felt the Cubs’ offer was fair, while Rizzo did not.
As far as Hoyer saying guys didn’t want to counteroffer, that could have been in reference to Bryant. Bryant had some lingering beef with the franchise over their time clock manipulation of him, which may have had him eyeing free agency all along.
If we had to make a guess, the blame would be on Bryant for not wanting to be with the Cubs. But with Rizzo and Baez, the sides were probably far apart on dollars when it came to negotiations.