Sun. Jan 29th, 2023

CHICAGO (AP) — Nico Hoerner heard the identical message from the Chicago Cubs again and again. They appreciated him as a shortstop, they usually additionally had confidence in him at second base.

When the Cubs landed Gold Glove shortstop Dansby Swanson in free company, the matter was settled.

The athletic Hoerner is returning to second base after Swanson finalized a $177 million, seven-year contract with Chicago final month. Hoerner and Swanson ought to give the Cubs one of many majors’ finest double-play combos.

“It was an enormous transfer for the course of this crew,” Hoerner mentioned. “You are getting an affect participant that actually performed each single sport final yr. I believe that is actually cool, and he comes with a very, actually excessive popularity about who he’s as a participant. It should be a big effect for us.”

The 25-year-old Hoerner, a first-round choose within the 2018 newbie draft out of Stanford, has performed second base in 68 massive league video games, together with 53 begins. However he spent all of final season at shortstop.

“It was at all times a dream of mine to play shortstop within the main leagues,” Hoerner mentioned Friday on the primary day of the crew’s fan conference. “Received to do it for a full season this yr.

“However the wants of our crew are very clear, and it is not a difficulty shifting ahead in any respect.”

The Swanson transfer was a part of an energetic winter for the Cubs after they went 74-88 final yr for his or her second straight shedding season. In addition they added right-hander Jameson Taillon, outfielder Cody Bellinger, first baseman Eric Hosmer, reliever Brad Boxberger and catcher Tucker Barnhart in free company.

Hosmer’s $720,000, one-year contract was accomplished Friday, and right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. was designated for task. The 33-year-old Hosmer performed for San Diego and Boston final season, batting .268 with eight homers and 44 RBIs in 104 video games.

President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer mentioned Hosmer doubtless would be the crew’s beginning first baseman.

“An opportunity to herald a man that is had some actually good years, had a very good profession,” Hoyer mentioned. “There is a change-in-scenery component I believe to him. … I believe that getting him into our surroundings, I believe there’s good years left.”

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