TODAY: Speaking with MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian and other reporters today, Hoyer confirmed that negotiations were taking place with Ross. Bastian writes that a Ross extension would begin with the 2024 season, as the Cubs would first exercise their club option for 2023.
OCTOBER 2: The Cubs and manager David Ross have “had some preliminary talks” about a contract extension, Ross told NBC Sports Chicago’s Gordon Wittenmyer and other reporters. Ross is taking something of a laid-back approach to the negotiations, saying he is focused on the remaining days of the Cubs’ season, and that “if I’m meant to get extended, I’ll get extended.”
As Wittenmyer notes, there has been an expectation that Ross would indeed get a new deal, following up on the original three-year pact he signed with the team in October 2019. The 2022 season will be the final guaranteed year of that deal and the Cubs also have an option on Ross’ services for 2023. The nature of the extension talks aren’t yet known, though it could be that the Cubs might simply lock in Ross’ 2023 season now, giving the skipper a bit more security beyond just one remaining guaranteed year.
The Cubs made the postseason in Ross’ first year, posting a 34-26 record before being eliminated by the Marlins in the first round of the expanded 2020 playoff structure. With a 38-27 record back on June 13 of this season, the Wrigleyville crew seemed well on their way to another postseason berth before the wheels completely came off, resulting in a major fire sale of veterans and impending free agents at the trade deadline. The Cubs enter today’s play with a dismal 69-91 record, marking their first losing season since 2014.
Between the pandemic and all of the tumult surrounding the Cubs in particular over the last two years, it is hard to gauge Ross’ share of the blame for the team’s struggles. Ownership and the front office have seemingly been more concerned with keeping the payroll in check rather than adding big pieces around the Cubs’ former core of talent, leaving Ross with less to work with on the field.
While president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has said Chicago will be “really active in free agency” and “spend money intelligently” this winter, it remains to be seen how much of a push the Cubs will make towards contending in 2022, or if they’ll continue to reload on young talent and keep their spending limited. As such, Ross’ role in the dugout could continue to be more focused around managing and developing younger players rather than being overtly concerned with wins and losses.