Cubs News

Cubs lock up Nico Hoerner with extension just ahead of Opening Day

1 year agoTony Andracki

The opening week of the Major League Baseball season is typically rife with optimism and that’s especially true with the news that came out of Cubs camp Monday evening as the team made its way back to Chicago.

According to reports around the league, the Cubs reached an agreement with Nico Hoerner’s camp on a 3-year extension that would keep him in Chicago through the 2026 season.

Hoerner turns 26 in May and is coming off the best season of his career.

He hit .281 with a .736 OPS in 2022, setting career highs in just about every offensive category including homers (10), stolen bases (20) and hits (135). He also notched 4.4 WAR, which more than doubled his career WAR total to date.

Hoerner was among the league’s best defensive shortstops last season but will now transition to second base after the Cubs signed Dansby Swanson over the winter.

[MORE: How the Cubs’ 2023 roster is shaking out ahead of Opening Day]

After a 2021 season in which he did not make the Opening Day roster, Hoerner was called up in April and wound up dealing with a variety of injuries throughout the year that limited him to only 44 games.

But he proved an ability to stay healthy last season, appearing in 135 games and only missing time due to a freak accident in which he stepped on an umpire’s foot in San Diego and rolled his ankle.

The Cubs are going to deploy Hoerner as the team’s leadoff hitter this season, allowing him to set the table for the lineup and provide a spark.

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