Hoyer: 'No soap opera' with traded Cubs

August 4th, 2021

DENVER -- Sitting inside the visitors' dugout at Coors Field on Tuesday evening, Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer wanted to make something clear about his relationship with Anthony Rizzo.

"There's no soap opera here," Hoyer said.

Prior to Friday's Trade Deadline, the Hoyer-led Cubs front office traded away the core trio of Javier Báez (Mets), Kris Bryant (Giants) and Rizzo (Yankees). One of the dynamics that led to that dismantling of the roster's foundation was the inability to reach a contract extension with any of the three.

Hoyer explained that in the immediate wake of Friday's Deadline deals, but he then took things a step further in a recent radio interview on "The Kap and J-Hood Show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.

"While frustrating," Hoyer said in the radio interview, "I put my head on the pillow every night knowing that we put our best foot forward. The extensions we offered these guys will hold up exceptionally well, historically they'll hold up exceptionally well and 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 counter-offer oftentimes. I don't know, because every one of these guys would say they wanted to stay in Chicago, 'We want to be a Cub.' But when we sat down to do negotiations, that wasn't how they acted."

Rizzo went on the same radio show on Tuesday morning and responded to Hoyer's remarks by saying he was "kind of confused" about why the front-office leader would go down that path. The first baseman likened it to a "bad breakup."

"I know it comes down to a business," Rizzo said. "And when you want your cake and you want to eat it, too -- that's kind of how it seemed. ... I think it can all speak for itself that there’s a common denominator that no one signed."

Ahead of the Cubs' game against the Rockies, Hoyer expressed frustration over his comments, which he felt did come from "a good place." Hoyer said he could have chosen his words better, especially given the fact that Báez, Bryant and Rizzo are such icons for the franchise.

"If I could do it over again, would I probably have ended that sentence earlier? I think I would have," Hoyer said. "I think the world of all those guys. Nothing I would ever, ever say would be negative. If anything, it comes from a place of having hoped that we got across the finish line in those deals."

Noting that their relationship spans more than decade and three organizations, Hoyer said he did not feel the need to reach out to Rizzo again in the wake of the public back-and-forth.

"No, no," Hoyer said. "I've talked to him a couple times since the trade. Listen, I think those things can turn into a little bit of a telephone-game aspect. I'm sure we'll talk and text. It's all good.

"Like I said, you guys have been around this long enough to know what our relationship is. Three organizations and through all this -- we're all good. There's no hard feelings. There's no ill will."