(670 The Score) Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer denied that the team has engaged in trade talks with the Mets recently surrounding third baseman Kris Bryant after a report emerged indicating that was the case.
With pitchers and catchers set to report to spring training Wednesday, Hoyer doesn’t expect the makeup of the Cubs’ roster to change in any significant way before the regular season opens, outside of perhaps an addition or two on a minor league deal.
“By and large, I would expect this is what our team is going to look like,” Hoyer said Tuesday. “I don’t expect major transactions from a free-agent nature going forward. As far as the trades go, right now, we’re not currently engaged in any trade talk. We haven’t been for a little while now. Could someone make that phone call? Yeah, someone could. But I’m not anticipating it, because right now, we’re not engaged in anything. We haven’t been for a bit. So I don’t expect it is probably the simplest way to say it, but you never know. Who knows what injury could happen or what thing could change in someone else’s camp. But I’m not expecting it. I’m expecting that for the most part this is going to be the group that we open up against Pittsburgh with (on April 1).”
A reporter then followed up by clarifying if that meant the recent Cubs-Mets speculation about Bryant was inaccurate.
“That’s what I’m saying, yeah,” Hoyer said. “We were involved in a lot of rumors this year that were, some were just completely inaccurate and then I would say some were just exaggerated, the seriousness of those discussions. Certainly, teams called us and we had discussions. But as far as active discussions right now, things are quiet and they have been for some time.”
Bryant, 29, is under contract through the end of the 2021 season, making him a potential trade chip if the Cubs want to continue to pivot their focus to their long-term future – as they did in trading ace Yu Darvish to the Padres in December for right-hander Zach Davies and four young prospects. Bryant is coming off an injury-plagued season in which he hit .206 with just four homers, 11 RBIs and a .644 OPS in 34 games.
“What I’ve told him and others is if your name comes up in trade rumors or you’re anxious about it, just come and talk to me about it,” Hoyer said. “I’ll shoot you straight about those things – ‘Yes, this is real’ or ‘No, this is something that is fictitious.’ I think having an open dialogue, players understand that this is a business. They understand that they could be traded. They’re not naïve to those things. I think when you read your name in the paper and everyone starts texting you and your wife or your friends start wondering, I think that causes a lot of uncertainty. If I can provide some relief from that, I think that’s a good thing.”