Chicago Cubs: A Javy Baez extension has to happen before Opening Day

The Chicago Cubs and their superstar Javy Baez have been in talks about a possible contract extension all offseason, but will Opening Day do it?

Heading into the Chicago Cubs 2020 season (whenever it does start) Cubs superstar shortstop Javier Baez will be heading into his age 27 seasons. More importantly, he has two more seasons before he hits the free-agent market. Something the Cubs and Cubs fans never see is Baez on the free-agent market.

That’s why the Cubs and Baez have been in talks all offseason on a possible extension. On the Big Time Baseballpodcast MLB insider, Jon Heyman talked about how both sides are willing to negotiate till Opening Day. Heyman went into more detail on the negotiations.

“There’s no evidence that that one is closed. My understanding from what I’ve heard is they’ve set an Opening Day deadline in that situation. They aren’t talking publicly. They only have a while to go to get this done. I do think the Cubs are going to be motivated.”

Baez burst on the national stage in the 2016 playoffs, where he was awarded Co-MVP of the NLCS with Jon Lester. Then in 2018, Baez finished second in the NL MVP voting behind Christian Yelich, who just signed a deal with the Brewers for the next nine seasons. In 2018 Baez was fantastic slashing .290/.326/.554 with 34 home runs and 111 RBIs.

Baez’s numbers went down in 2019, but he also struggled with injuries throughout most of the season, including the entire month of September. Baez slashed .281/.316./531 with 29 home runs.

Bleacher Nation talked about the comparison with Xander Bogaerts on what Baez might get from the Cubs with his extension. Bogaerts got six years $120 million. Baez will most likely be getting a little more than Bogaerts based on the star he has become over the last few years.

Baez is turning into one of the most popular players in the game, as he has been in the top 10 in jersey sales over the last few seasons. In the annual video game MLB The Show, Baez is the cover athlete.

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The Chicago Cubs have watched other teams lock up their younger players over the last few seasons and have only been able to sign Kyle Hendricks and David Bote to an extension. Other than that, there has been speculation in talks with Kris Bryant, but nothing has come of it.

I think all Cubs fans can agree that we never want to see El Mago in another uniform, and the Cubs should take action on that sooner rather than later. Hopefully, the extension will get done before the season starts, and we can move on to extending more of the core.

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