Chicago Cubs: A Javier Baez extension has to happen soon

If the Cubs want to salvage a disastrous offseason, there’s a clear solution: nail down a long-term extension with All-Star shortstop Javier Baez.

It has been no secret that the Chicago Cubs have had a very slow offseason. As of Friday morning, spending a grand total of $0 on guaranteed money on guaranteed big league contracts. This is mostly because the team is trying to get under the luxury tax for the upcoming season and as it stands now they are still over the tax without signing anyone.

Kris Bryant has been in trade talks all offseason but his service time grievance is still undecided, which has drastically held up the Cubs offseason. Because a team doesn’t want to trade for a guy until they know exactly how long they will have him for.

It was reported early in the offseason that the Cubs and Javier Baez were in talks about a possible contract extension. This was a nice surprise for Cubs fans as we have gone through two straight offseason of very little signings. Baez and the Cubs agreed to a $10 million deal for the 2020 season avoiding arbitration. Baez is now under contract until 2021.

Baez was asked about the possible extension at last week’s Cubs Convention.

“We just finished the arbitration, so I don’t know,” Baez said. “It’s really up to them. I have no comment about it. When the right deal comes, we will be ready for it.”

Baez burst on to the national radar during the 2016 postseason run, winning NCLS co-MVP honors with teammate Jon Lester. In 2018, the Puerto Rican standout turned in the best season of his career. He finished with 34 homers and 111 RBI’s and the runner-up in the NL MVP voting.

He followed it up with another solid showing last season. He belted 29 home runs, drove in 85 and turned in an .847 OPS in only 138 games. Baez was sidelined for most of September with a fractured thumb, de-railing the end of his year. In both 2018 and 2019 Baez was the starting shortstop for the NL All-Star team.

Paul Sullivan wrote an article in the Chicago Tribune talking about how when it comes down to it the Cubs are more likely to extend Baez over Bryant. That seems somewhat harsh to think about giving all the latter has done in Chicago but the more you look into it the more it seems like that’s likely the case.

Rumors have swirled around Bryant in trade rumors all offseason, while anything related to Baez has been regarding a potential contract extension. Hopefully, the Cubs will also extend Rizzo when his contract ends after next season. In short, it looks like the team will have to choose between Baez and Bryant at some point.

Next: Five trades the team could make within the NL West

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Baez’s stardom has just continued to rise over the last few years. So much so the Baez was given the honor of being named the cover athlete for MLB: The Show 2020. With how slow and frustrating this offseason has been for the Cubs and their fans, there is a way that they can somewhat salvage it: by extending El Mago and making him a Cub for life.

 

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