Chicago Cubs: Could extending Baez after a rough year be the smart move?
That being said, Bryant, Rizzo, Schwarber, and Baez will all be on the last year of their contracts in 2021 with the prospect of new bargaining on the horizon after next season. If the organization believes that 2020 was an aberration for some, why not double down after rough years and make a pitch for a team-friendly extension that may be a win-win for player and organization?
When each has a good season in 2021, their asking price in free agency will skyrocket compared with right now, especially if a new collective bargaining agreement favors players even slightly. Plus, with the financial uncertainty of the current situation, there’s the chance that some of these guys would be easier to lock up now versus a future time when finances and health might be a bit more certain after a vaccination.
Who would I specifically look to lock up from the group of core guys?
Baez, for one. Baez is still a positive value and force if only for his defense. He is also on the record saying that the lack of in-game video was a struggle for him. Granted, we’ve seen him swing and miss before, but the flailing was coupled with a lack of fastball hitting that shouldn’t be possible at this point in his career.
If I were a betting man, I’d buy Baez stock low in hopes of a comeback year in 2021. If he’s willing and the Cubs can, a four or five-year extension would certainly be intriguing to me.