Cubs reportedly reach extension agreement with second baseman Nico Hoerner

Nico Hoerner heads back to the dugout after the third out of the inning during a Spring Training game at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 03-16-2023.

MESA, Ariz. — The Cubs are leaving spring training with one contract extension at the finish line.

Second baseman Nico Hoerner agreed to a three-year, $35 million extension, ESPN reported Monday. The deal runs through Hoerner’s remaining two years of arbitration eligibility and first year of free agency.

‘‘The financial side of the game is a deeply personal thing,’’ Hoerner told the Sun-Times this spring. ‘‘Whether it means signing something right at the beginning of your career or before free agency or waiting till free agency and getting every possible dollar, all those things are very individual choices.’’

Hoerner, whom the Cubs drafted 24th overall in 2018, has developed into a well-balanced player and a young leader in the clubhouse.

‘‘He’s a mature human being outside of his baseball experience,’’ manager David Ross said last season. ‘‘And then you take his work ethic, his mindset, his baseball IQ, and you put that into a championship-type team that was on its way to the playoffs when he first got thrown into the mix.’’

Hoerner was fast-tracked to the majors because of injuries on the Cubs’ roster late in 2019. The next season was shortened by the pandemic, and a series of injuries in 2021 kept him off the field for stretches.

Last season, Hoerner played more than 50 games for the first time in his career and thrived as the Cubs’ everyday shortstop. He hit .281 with 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases. In the field, he was tied for No. 2 in outs above average (13) among MLB shortstops, trailing only Dansby Swanson (20).

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Hoerner’s extension adds one more year to the Hoerner/Swanson up-the-middle combo that has become a defining characteristic of the Cubs’ run-prevention identity since they signed Swanson to a seven-year deal during the offseason.

The Cubs also opened extension talks with left fielder Ian Happ this offseason, but the parties don’t appear close to an agreement.

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