The Chicago Cubs and infielder Nico Hoerner have agreed to terms of a contract extension that will pay him $35 million over the next three years, Jeff Passan reports. Prior to the extension, Hoerner had been slated to reach free agency following the 2025 season. This deal buys out one of those free-agent years, which means Hoerner will now reach the market after the 2026 season, when he'll be 29 years of age. According to Passan, the deal will pay Hoerner a total of $15 million for his final two arbitration seasons and then $20 million for his free-agent year of 2025.
Hoerner, 26, is coming off a 2022 season in which he slashed .281/.327/.410 (107 OPS+) with 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 135 games. For his career, Hoerner has an OPS+ of 98 across parts of four MLB seasons. Hoerner boasts excellent speed, and he's been a plus-fielding shortstop for the entirety of his big-league career. The Cubs' winter signing of Dansby Swanson to a $177 million pact means that Hoerner has shifted to second base for 2023 and beyond. He figures to remain a standout fielder at the keystone, and he and Swanson should form one of the top defensive middle-infield combos in all of baseball.
The Cubs originally drafted Hoerner, an Oakland native, out of Stanford with the No. 24 overall pick in 2018.