Chicago Cubs: Javier Baez leads star-studded 2021-22 shortstop FA class

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Javier Baez/ Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: A coming-out party for the Puerto Rican native

That year, El Mago did it all for Chicago.

He led the league with 111 RBI, slashing .290/.326/.554. Baez set career-highs in several offensive categories, including home runs (34), doubles (40), runs (101), hits (176), triples (9) and total bases (336), among others. There was nothing he didn’t do well, winning the first Silver Slugger of his career for his work with the lumber while continuing to bring his stellar defense to the left side of the Cubs infield on a day-in and day-out basis.

He followed that performance up in 2019 with another strong showing, earning his second consecutive All-Star nod. Despite missing time due to injury, Baez still put up the second-best OPS of his career (.847) and narrowly missed eclipsing his 40-double mark from the year prior, despite playing in 22 fewer contests.

After receiving a hefty raise via arbitration heading into 2019, his salary jumped again this offseason – up to $10 million in his next-to-last go-round going through the process. He’ll no doubt get another raise next offseason ahead of his final year of team control – but who knows what that will look like given the current status of professional sports in the United States.