The Chicago Cubs will be looking to extend multiple players in the next few seasons before they reach free agency, Javier Baez will be a lock to sign the extension.
The Javier Baez era in Chicago started back in 2011 when the Chicago Cubs took him with the ninth pick in the first round. The 2011 draft class was the last of the Jim Hendry regime. The next season Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over the front office, and they have stuck with Baez over the years. Baez was heavily criticized during his early part of his career for his long swing and his high chase rate.
Baez made his MLB debut in 2014 in a game against Colorado. After striking out multiple times, Baez hit a go-ahead home run in the 10th inning to give the Cubs the lead and the win. The 2014 season overall was a struggle for Baez as he struck out 95 times in just 213 at-bats.
Then for most of the 2015 Baez spent in the minor leagues but was brought up for the playoff run. He had a few big hits as he became the starting shortstop while Addison Russell was hurt.
In 2016 Baez spent most of his time at second base and started to make a real name for himself. He hit .273 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs, but he burst out during the playoff run. He went on to win Co-MVP with Jon Lester of the NLCS. After struggling for part of the World Series, Baez had some big hits in the fall classic, including a Game 7 home run.
In 2017 Baez again batted .273, but his power numbers started to climb as he hit 23 home runs and drove in 75.
2018 was the best year of Baez’s young career as he hit .290 with 34 home runs and a league-leading 111 RBI. He was the starting second basemen of the NL All-Star team and finished second in the NL MVP voting.
Baez was almost just as good in 2019 even though he battled injures during the first part of the year, and had his last month of the season taken because of a thumb injury. He hit .281 with 29 home runs and 85 RBI.
Much as been talked about the Cubs “competitive window” closing fast because of all the players they have coming up on free agency. Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, and Baez’s contracts are all up after the 2021 season. So the clock is ticking on getting a deal done with one of them and soon before they do reach the free-agent market.
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Baez seems like the most likely to sign the extensions before ever testing the waters of free agency. Baez has made it publicly know that he would love to stay in Chicago for his entire career, and I know Cubs fans would love to see that happen.
It has been reported that the Cubs and Baez have been in talks about a possible extension. Out of all the players that will be looking for extensions, Baez will be the one that signs and is on the North Side for many years to come.