Willson’s future? Trades? Contending timeline? Hoyer holds court

CHICAGO — Jed Hoyer stood in front of the Cubs’ dugout on Thursday afternoon, flanked by reporters for a wide-ranging discussion about the ballclub. At the start, the team’s president of baseball operations was raving about the recent debut of rookie Christopher Morel.

“Those are the most enjoyable days at the ballpark, for me,” Hoyer said in the hours leading up to the Cubs’ 3-1 loss to the D-backs at Wrigley Field.

Part of this season will continue to involve young players like Morel, who homered in his first career at-bat on Tuesday in one of the best moments of the year for the North Siders. But the roster is also full of veterans, who are trying to help lead the way and pull the fourth-place Cubs back up the NL Central standings.

Hoyer’s team of evaluators, along with manager David Ross and his coaching staff, are balancing a number of factors as the Cubs try to thread the needle of contending in the present, while building for the future. That remained a theme as Hoyer held court for nearly a half-hour.

Here are three highlights from Hoyer’s pregame conversation:

On Willson Contreras’ future

The Cubs have an arbitration hearing with Contreras scheduled for June 9. There has been no movement in potential extension talks with the star catcher, who could be a free agent in the winter. Contreras has stated a preference to delay any such talks until after…

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