Cubs: Javier Baez says he ‘obviously wants to stay’ in Chicago

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

In the coming weeks, we know that Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer will attempt to lock up some key players on long-term contract extensions.

Near the top of the list will be All-Star shortstop Javier Baez, who’s among the most popular players in the league and is a former NL MVP runner-up. The Chicago shortstop talked with the media on Friday about his desire to be a lifelong Cub.

Baez, 28, is coming off the worst offensive season of his career. His .252 wOBA ranked in the bottom three percent of the league. His only real value came defensively, as he finally brought home the first Gold Glove of his young career. 

Cubs could solidify the future by locking up Javier Baez with an extension

Earlier this week, I wrote that the historically loaded free agent class of shortstops next winter might actually wind up helping the Cubs keep Baez in the Windy City for years to come. To put it mildly, competing against guys like Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor and Trevor Story probably won’t do him any favors on the open market.

Talking to reporters, Baez said he wasn’t mentally ready for everything the shortened 2020 campaign entailed – not to mention the constant off-the-field stressors that everyone, including Baez and every other player in the league – had to battle. The lack of in-game video access threw him out of his routine and playing in empty stadiums killed the energy for the two-time All-Star.

Baez compared it to playing on the back fields at spring training, saying that was preferable to the setup they experienced last year. He said he ‘felt rushed’ when trying to make adjustments. The end result? A wholly forgettable showing from the Puerto Rican native.

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While seeing the Cubs back on the field next week will be great, I suspect just as many fans will be refreshing Twitter nonstop, hoping to hear about a long-term extension for Baez, or maybe Kris Bryant or Anthony Rizzo.  For Baez’s part, it sure sounds like he’s all about being a Cub for life – which is good news after an offseason where there wasn’t a whole lot to be excited about.