Chicago Cubs: Some surprises in deals
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We’ll get the big fish out of the way first. Performance-wise Kris Bryant and Javy Baez went in opposite directions in 2018. Baez had what could only be called a breakout season; Bryant, hobbled by injury, saw his numbers decline.
OK, he declined to mere human levels after his 2015 Rookie of the Year season and his 2016 MVP season that helped him set a record level first-year arbitration salary after the 2017 season.
Baez made $657,000 last year and signed for $5.2 million in 2019. This is certainly a hefty boost for the 26-year-old infielder. But nonetheless, a level that many experts including Tim Dierkes at MLBTR predicted could have been greater.
Bryant signed at $12.9 million, a $2.05 million boost. Not the record-setting level he attained after 2017, but pretty much in line where most thought he would end up.