Chicago Cubs: Javier Baez says extension talks have been ‘up and down’

Speaking to the media on Sunday, Javier Baez said contract extension talks with the Chicago Cubs have been ‘up and down’ throughout the offseason.

If somehow the Chicago Cubs announced a contract extension with Javier Baez in the weeks leading up to Opening Day, it’s hard not to think that most everything would be forgiven after an offseason where most fans have spewed vitriol toward the organization and its actions (or lack thereof).

Baez spoke with reporters this weekend in Mesa, offering up some comments on any prospective talks and where they stand as the team ramps up for Cactus League action.

“It’s been up and down,” he told Jesse Rogers of ESPN. “It’s business. It’s really tough. I’ll let them work that out. If it works, great. If not, we have another year.

As things currently stand, Chicago could lose Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant at the conclusion of the 2021 season. That thought – a lineup without these three – seemed like a nightmarish hellscape just a few years ago but now, looks more and more like a real possibility.

Bryant held court this weekend, as well, in an eloquent session in which he touched on nearly every topic under the sun – including how he feels about his relationship with the organization. 

But back to Baez – who is nearly a year younger than Bryant and undoubtedly represents one of the top players at his position. He’s an elite defender and he’s shown what he’s capable of with the stick – finishing runner-up in NL MVP voting in 2018.

With a ton of money potentially coming off the books after this season, it’s not out of the realm of possibility Chicago extends at least one of these guys. But given the narrative that’s surrounded the Cubs for more than a year now in regards to their apparent unwillingness to spend, it’s harder to envision.

“It’s up to them, to be honest,” Baez said. “I wish we both [could] stay here. We want to keep everyone here because we pretty much have the team that won. But it is what it is. Obviously not every year we’re going to have the same players.”

Next: Almora says he's revamped his game this offseason

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So what will it be? A lineup anchored by Baez and Bryant for years to come or watching them both ride off into the sunset after next season? Let’s hope for the former – because players like El Mago are generational and should not be taken lightly.

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