Cubs Rumors: A Kolten Wong-Javier Baez middle infield in 2021?

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Let me dream about a Cubs duo of Javier Baez and Kolten Wong up the middle.

Prior to the Cubs picking up Anthony Rizzo’s $16.5 million team option for 2021, the St. Louis Cardinals’ decision to go in another direction with infielder Kolten Wong caused some worry among Chicago Cubs fans. Thankfully, the front office and ownership did right by their first baseman and have brought him back into the fold for 2021.

Second base has long been a black hole for Chicago. This year, we saw Jason Kipnis, Nico Hoerner and David Bote all get reps at second – but it’s been a hot minute since you really felt good about that position overall. Enter Wong, now a free agent and Gold Glove winner at the position.

More from Cubbies Crib

I don’t know about you, but somehow coming up with the money to bring in a former Cardinal who may feel scorned by St. Louis’ decision to part ways with him is awfully appealing. Not only would it be great to watch him grind his axe against the Redbirds – but he’d fill a glaring need for the Cubs.

He doesn’t strike out a ton, works enough walks and is a big bat-on-ball presence. Add in his above-average work with the glove and on the basepaths and you have an incredibly valuable middle infielder.

Just picture it – Javier Baez and Wong side-by-side up the middle. That’s the stuff of dreams. Look. I think Hoerner is going to be a quality big leaguer someday.

But his bat was exploited in so many ways this year – and it makes me strongly believe that he needs some more seasoning and development before you can ask him to be even close to a league-average offensive presence on a daily basis.

The biggest issue when it comes to Wong? He fits in all too well with the current cast of characters. In other words, he really struggles against left-handed pitching. Of course, we’re all too well aware of the Cubs’ woes against southpaws this season. Adding yet another bat shaped in that same fashion could only exacerbate the teams’ offensive woes.

Next. The 25 greatest Cubs players of all-time. dark

And then we come to the elephant in the room: the Cubs (and many other teams) aren’t going to be spending this offseason. That is, unless players like Wong take serious pay cuts due to the pandemic, which seems unlikely, as well. This winter is going to be unlike anything we’ve seen – and charting a course for potential trade and free agent targets is more difficult than ever.