Chicago Cubs: Without Javier Baez, they have no chance to make magical run

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: This guy has been rather decent the past two years

Why would fans work their way closer to the proverbial ledge, you ask? For starters, Baez has been the best Cubs player the past two seasons, amassing 9.7 fWAR in the process. A distant 6.6 fWAR over those two seasons is the next closest combined total, put up by the trio of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Hendricks.

Baez is also now the Cubs shortstop, a position he has manned better than almost everyone in baseball this season. More recently, he was named the best defender in baseball during August by Sports Info Solutions, the same guys who give out the Fielding Bible Awards every postseason.

He usurped the position from 2017, and 2018 incumbent shortstop, Addison Russell after off-field issues and suspensions made it clear that Baez needed to move to his natural position from second base (which he also manned exceptionally well).

In terms of the impact you can’t quantify, look no further than Willson Contreras (who just came back from his IL stint) who pulled no punches in saying, “Javy is the heart of the team.”

In other words, the Cubs just lost their most productive, most defensively-gifted, and most intangible player for the rest of the season down 3.5 games to the Cardinals with 21 games remaining. Not optimal.

The question now becomes: where do we go from here?