Three former Chicago Cubs that are current fits for the team's needs

Miami Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates
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Javier Baez
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Three former Chicago Cubs that are current fits: Javier Baez

Of all the players from the Chicago Cubs' World Series-winning core in 2016, shortstop Javier Baez came the closest to signing a contract extension with the team. It appeared the Cubs and Baez were in the final stages of reaching an agreement on a contract extension in 2020 before baseball operations were temporarily shut down due to the pandemic. Operations returned in July of that year and the directive of the Cubs' front office also changed.

That ultimately was the reason why Baez was traded at the Major League Baseball trade deadline in 2021. The trade was a success for the Cubs as they acquired an outfielder by the name of Pete Crow-Armstrong. After a breakout season in 2022, Crow-Armstrong has emerged as the team's top prospect in 2023.

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Meanwhile, Baez struggled with the Detroit Tigers last season as he compiled a .291 wOBA and 90 wRC+ in 590 plate appearances. There is no question that the Tigers had instant buyer's remorse over the six-year contract that the team signed Baez to last offseason. With an opening at third base and financial flexibility in the long term, the Cubs should at least have a conversation with the Tigers.