Chicago Cubs: Which ‘modern’ teammates will have their number retired?
Chicago Cubs’ Javier Baez
This may be the most likely candidate when all the dust settles. Javier Baez is one of the most electric players in the Majors and the most critical part of the Cubs. It’s almost every game any more when he does something to one-up himself. Whether it be taking the extra base, stealing home, or making a defensive play that seems impossible at first. Baez finished second in MVP voting after the 2018 season, behind Christian Yelich.
There have been reports nearly all offseason that the Cubs have been talking about a long-term contract extension with Baez, but with everything happening in the world, who knows if those talks are on hold. In early March, Baez said that talks are “progressing,” but that’s a comprehensive term when it comes to things like this.
An extension for Baez would signal that he becomes a Cub for life and finishes his career in Chicago, barring a trade of course, and that he etches his name into Cubs history for years to come. Baez is just entering the prime of his career, and with a new deal, he wouldn’t have to worry about supporting himself or his family, and the Cubs would be assured to get his best years of production presumably.
The Cubs will not keep every member of the core that won the organization’s first championship in 108 years, but if the front office can hold one or even two of the players, fans should be happy.
Baez himself played a significant role in the World Series win. In the NLDS, he hit the game-winning home run off Johnny Cueto in Game 1, and was the MVP of the NLCS, and hit a key home run in Game 7 of the World Series that put the Cubs up by three runs at the time. Baez is a Cub, and he shouldn’t spend his career anywhere else.