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
Francisco Lindor / Javier Baez / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Will Lindor or Baez receive the bigger contract?

When that day comes – and Baez hits the open market, he won’t be alone as an elite shortstop. Cleveland Indians standout Francisco Lindor, Colorado Rockies slugger Trevor Story and former American League Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa will all be free agents at the same time.

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Now, Correa is undoubtedly tainted given the fallout from the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that took the game by storm before COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill. Story seems likely to continue his career in Colorado given his tremendous offensive performance in the Mile High City. Will he be wary of moving to a new club after seeing Troy Tulowitzki do so and struggle immensely? Perhaps. We’ll have to wait and see.

The biggest rival to Baez atop this shortstop free agent class is undoubtedly his fellow countryman Francisco Lindor. A four-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove winner and two-time Silver Slugger recipient, the Indians star represents one of the best talents in the game. He’ll be Baez’s chief competition for the biggest free agent contract among these players.

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Lindor will be one year younger than Baez – an important selling point to his agent when pitching to interested parties. But we all know that Baez is capable of transforming a game in ways few players in the league can. One thing is for sure – this will be one of the chief stories to keep an eye on in years to come.