Chicago Cubs: Talk about the blockbuster of all blockbusters
If you want to talk about remaking a team in a monumental way, this would do the trick. Now, I don’t think the Cubs are going to trade Javier Baez. In fact, I consider him one of the key guys the front office will try to extend in coming months. But in this game, one can never say never.
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Epstein spoke to The Athletic recently about both Bryant and Baez, offering plenty of insight on how the organization views its stars.
"“I look at them both the same,” Epstein said (subscription required). “They’re fantastic players. I don’t think it’s mutually exclusive. I think they’re both hugely important and it would be hard to see them out of a Cubs uniform. But we’re at a transition point and we have to do whatever is best for the Cubs. I hope it includes both those guys.”"
Baez battled through injuries himself this year – and while he didn’t quite live up to his MVP runner-up status from the year prior, the Puerto Rican native turned heads like always. He led all Cubs players in Baseball Reference WAR (4.8) and earning his second All-Star Selection.
Of course, there’s a lot that comes with a player like Baez. He’s indisputably one of the best defensive players in all of baseball and is one of the most exciting personalities out there. Losing El Mago would be a blow to the heart, make no mistake. But there’s no player on this roster who would command as big of a return, either.
Again, I don’t think we’ll see Javier Baez in a new uniform in 2020. But I’m trying to be open-minded heading into what seems likely to be the busiest offseason for the Chicago Cubs since the dawn of the Maddon era, which has now drawn to a close.