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Cubs GM Jed Hoyer Confronts MLB Insider at Winter Meetings Over Shohei Ohtani Report

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With generational two-way player Shohei Ohtani holding secret free agency talks this offseason, which includes the reported stipulation that leaks of talks could be held against the pursuing team, it’s no surprise why Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer was upset with USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale.

Nightengale reported on Tuesday that Chicago’s optimism of landing Ohtani had “significantly waned,” which led to Hoyer exchanging “stern words” with the veteran baseball reporter at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday night, according to ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers.

“I think they’re upset that it came out,” Rogers told ESPN 1000 on Tuesday. “Jed spoke with reporters a few minutes ago. As he’s walking towards the group, he runs into Bob Nightengale and there were some stern words exchanged, some stern words exchanged.”

Rogers added that he was unsure of what was said. 

Hoyer is clearly annoyed that reports of talks between Ohtani and the Cubs leaked, but Nightengale wasn’t the only one to report that Chicago was likely out of the free agency sweepstakes. In fact, Rogers, who divulged the rift between Hoyer and Nightengale on Tuesday, backed up Nightengale’s reporting stating that it was accurate.

“I wasn’t ready to report it because I didn’t have it locked down,” Rogers said, “and then I would’ve gotten yelled at, but that’s part of the game.”

Rogers added that Hoyer said very little about the state of talks with Ohtani, outside of mentioning that his camp had not informed the Cubs that they were out.

Outside of the Cubs, the Dodgers, Blue Jays, Angels and Giants are all likely in the final mix for the generational star, who doubles as a frontline starting pitcher and middle-of-the-order bat.

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