Cubs star Javier Baez hasn’t been shy about publicly discussing his contract talks with the Cubs, and that trend continued this week as the two-time All-Star told ESPN’s Marly Rivera that extension talks with the team have been on hold since the league shut down in mid-March. Both sides decided to “leave it there,” with the 2020 season on indefinite hold, although the 27-year-old made clear that he still hopes to reach an agreement at some point.
Transactions have halted and rosters frozen during the hiatus, and extension talks were reportedly placed on hold as well. Of course, that’s a tough policy to enforce and one that could conceivably be circumvented so long as a new deal wasn’t announced or reported until the limitations were lifted. It seems that has not been the case, despite Baez’s emphasis on what a “blessing” it’d be to spend his whole career with one team and the fact that neither party feels the need to put a deadline on talks. On the other hand, Baez is keenly aware of the business side of the game and did discuss the possibility of playing with multiple teams in his chat with Rivera. The two also discussed his charitable works in Puerto Rico during the shutdown and Baez’s workouts with his brother-in-law: Twins righty Jose Berrios. Cubs fans will want to take a full look for the full breadth of his comments.
The Cubs currently control Baez through the 2021 season, after which he’ll join a historically strong class of free-agent shortstops. He and the Cubs agreed to a $10MM salary for the 2020 season over the winter, although the best-case scenario for him is now that he’d receive a prorated portion of that sum (dependent on how many games are able to be played in a shortened season). He’ll have one more trip through arbitration on the horizon, barring an agreement on a new deal.
A Baez extension would require a change of trajectory for a Cubs organization that has become increasingly averse to spending over the past two seasons. It’s easy to envision Baez, a potential face of the franchise for the better part of the next decade, as an exception to that philosophy, but it’s hard not to notice the team’s decrease in spending. Craig Kimbrel was signed last summer, but only after a prolonged stretch on the restricted list for Ben Zobrist unexpectedly opened up some funds. Chicago also brokered extensions for Kyle Hendricks (four years, $55.5MM) and David Bote (five years, $15MM) in Spring Training 2019, but a Baez deal wouldn’t be in the same stratosphere as those two deals. Outside of those deals, the Cubs have spent just over $14MM in free agency dating back to October 2018.
That said, the Cubs will also have Jon Lester, Tyler Chatwood, Jose Quintana, Daniel Descalso, Steven Souza Jr. and Jeremy Jeffress come off the books this coming winter. They had been slated to enter the season with about $214MM worth of luxury-tax commitments on the books, but that number will crater to $93MM next year (not including sizable arbitration raises for Baez, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras). It’s also perhaps telling while each of Bryant, Schwarber and Contreras saw his name kicked about the rumor circuit this past offseason — Bryant in particular — there were little to no such rumblings regarding Baez.
Whenever talks are able to resume, they’ll take place against the backdrop of sizable revenue losses for teams throughout the league — a reality that could make it more difficult for the two parties (or any two parties) to agree on a potential price point. That cuts both ways, as while the Cubs may not want to pay as much as they would have with an uninterrupted revenue stream, Baez (and other players set to hit free agency in the next couple of years) could be wary about going out into the open market at a time when owners are looking to recoup their losses. The expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement in December 2021 only further muddies the water, making it nearly impossible to predict just how contract negotiations of any type will play out in the foreseeable future.
Cubs in STL
Javy is well worth a 6 year 150 million extension imo.
i hate my father
I agree, contract expires at the age of 33, so buy out his prime years and mainly avoid the decline years which could be ugly, especially if he loses bat speed.
Finding Gold Glove caliper SS who can rack don’t come around everyday.
Also he eats, breathes and sleeps baseball and still has room to grow.
Smokin Joe Charboneau
I love the last line of your comment. It seems true, too.
i hate my father
The dude has a tattoo of the MLB logo on the back of his neck. If that is not commitment to the game then I don’t know what is.
thats a true gamer
That was his first of many tattoos. He has world series champion on his arm too. I know 1. His mom hated the idea of him getting a tattoo especially at 16 years old 2. It was a random tattoo that he and his brothers got. As far as I know he’s the only player that can play SS, 2nd,3rd and 1st and play them like its his natural position. He used to play CF as well.
Smokin Joe Charboneau
6/150 seems a bit heavy but man I’d hate to have Javy go. To me, he is the guy to sign over KB or any others.
I do think the Cubs get it done with him. It may not be until the 2021-22 off-season, but I think it will happen.
$25MM ain’t gonna cut it for Javy. He’s easily worth $30MM on the open market. If the Cubs try to sign him on the cheap, he’s as good as gone. This organization has a history of short changing it’s best players. They’re a top 3 revenue team—They need to step up and pay this man.
The daily mouth breather comment from ChiSoxCity about the Cubs!!!!
The White Sox have never signed a guy to a 100 million dollar deal but the Sox certainly aren’t known for shortchanging!!!! But oh boy those Cubs sure are!!!!!
He’s not wrong… $25m/yr is light if you aren’t buying out any of his “decline years.” If he doesn’t get an extension, he hits free agency before he turns 30, so he’ll likely still be in line for a big contract.
6 years would have him through age 34, when exactly do you think a player declines?
If it takes more than that, you let him walk.
6 years takes him through the age of 32
I disagree on Baez being “worth” 30million AAV…
Baez is really good don’t get me wrong but he refuses to take a walk and he has flat out said he has zero intentions on ever changing his approach. IMO, the free swinging approach will not age well.
But really, the reason I would not pay Baez 30 million per is the depth of the free agent class at short stop. Only so many teams will need short stops and only so many teams will have the money to afford the top tier talent. Offering Baez 6/160 to me seems fair. I’d pay 7/180 starting next season with an 8th year vesting option.
Odds are, Baez would get somewhere around 7 years 190 million to 8 years 210 on the open market.
Yea that sounds good
If he has another year like the last two then maybe an 8yr 160 is a fair deal with him having security and the Cubs a lower average annual rate.
You are not getting him for 20 million per year I do not believe IMHO
Eric Hosmer money? 7/226
you mean 8/260. He’d walk at only 20mil aav. That’s an insult. He won’t and shouldn’t get less than 25mil a week
He has to be top priority. 6/150 seems very fair
He ain’t getting more than Yelich. The Altuve deal seems like a good comp to me.
Yelich got that because he was already in a bad contract.
The little cheater got 5 years, $145 MM in his extension starting this year at age 30. Yelich is getting 7 years, $188MM in his extension starting 2022. He’s a year older than Baez and a better player, a top 5 player the past couple of years. Javy probably falls in between there. Give him $15 MM for his last arb year and 6 year extension at $26 MM per year. That’s $171MM in total.
They need to trade Bryant before even thinking about any extensions.
They do not need to make any trades in order to extend Baez
The Cubs do not “need” to trade Bryant but they do need to trade someone (Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber, Wilco) who can bring in some young talent to pad the farm system.
The Cubs farm is deeper than most people give them credit for, Marquez and Davis are potential building blocks and they have a lot of potential major league caliber position players (Hoerner, Amaya, Strumpf) and a lot of interesting high ceiling arms (Jensen, Miller, Thompson, Franklin) but they need an impact, middle of the order type bat in the mix.
Between Baez and Bryant, I would pick Bryant because Bryant is always going to get on base which is the biggest fault of Baez’s game. Is it easy to find a 30 home run 100 RBI gold glove short stop? Absolutely not, but you can find a slick fielder on the cheap that is a decent bat (Simmons) and get that offensive production elsewhere.
I see 30 mil/year as very possible
I love his passion and swagger for the game but he’s severely overrated in no way is he getting 30 mil a year. I would rather lock up Bryant.
Baez a much better investment
How is he overrated
Alarmingly low OBP, strikes out a ton. Slightly above average on most other offensive stats. Great glove, good ball player, fun too watch. Not a superstar like most would call him.
Top 3 SS in baseball but sure call him “severely” overrated with no reason why
I’m sorry, but can you read? lol
He’s averaged 31 HRs each of the past three seasons. That’s not “slightly above average”.
Is that really that impressive now in the year 2020 when literally everybody is hitting 30 homeruns? Especially for a guy who swings for the fences every AB.
Baez and Bryant both have their warts but I agree that dollar for dollar and year for year I would take Bryant over Baez.
I think the Cubs are pushing for a Baez extension because it would be less of a financial investment in both years and dollars.
If you look at the free agent class when Baez will be a free agent, it’s very deep. Lindor is the top, then Baez and Story are 2a and 2b, and if you do not get either of them, Seager or Correa are not bad fourth and fifth choices either.
If you are looking at risk vs. reward with Baez, 6/150 is extremely fair (7/165-170 total).
Bryant on the other hand has all but stated he is expecting a 7-8 year deal for at least 30 million per. In terms of extension, you just cannot justify giving that to a guy who posted a 3.7 and a 1.9 WAR the past two seasons. Especially with declining defensive prowess.
5yrs of David Bote, hahaha.
At 3 million per year?? Who cares
If he can provide just exactly one WAR via a walk off grand slam each year then they got a great deal there.
Jokes aside Bote is actually a very solid bench player and more teams should learn from the Cubs and sign long term these types of valuable role players. Bryant or Baez goes down and you can slot in an average player whenever needed.
They had David Bote under team control for 6 more years when he signed the deal. It was rather unnecessary to sign him to that extension. That is unless you thought he was going to break out.
Exactly, it’s not one of those stupid 5 year deals that are a complete overpay.
Spooky you only show your ignorance of you think the Bote contract is bad
Baez will aim for 10 years…..$30 million per year.
or he will walk…….or get traded…….
if I was CUBS GM……..trade him, Bryant, Hendricks, Contreras and restock with high end read MLB prospects.
No one will give Baez 10 years 30 million dollars. Not even if he was the only short stop on the market in a historically weak class of free agents.
I also don’t know if you follow much of the Cubs but they tried to trade Bryant for high end MLB ready talent and no one was biting (personally I thought the Cubs should have made Baez available because he is more marketable).
Hendricks is locked up to a team friendly deal, I’d listen to offers but it would take the moon to get me to deal him. The guy is cold as ice in the post season.
Contreras I would be fine with dealing but I also hope the Cubs work him more in the outfield in 2020. He is the teams best bat when he is healthy.
8 years, 240 million seems about right with an opt out after year 3 and 5.
I just would not feel comfortable committing even 200M to a guy with a .310 OBP for his career. Not that he can’t out hit his lack of plate discipline while still providing near elite defense, I just wouldn’t want to spend that on him due to the risk he suddenly puts up a .286 OBP or something (His OBP in the second half)
Then you’re an idiot…you can’t judge every hotter by OBP, good grief!
No he’s not, I wouldn’t wanna give Baez well over 200 million either.
It’s better than using batting average, and he does have a point. Baez only has a career walk % right below 5%. He strikes out more than a quarter of the time on average. He also only makes contact outside of the zone about 55% of the time when league average is 63%. Those kind of skill sets do not age well.
Especially because he relies on elite bat speed and athleticism, once they go, it could get ugly. He’s a fun player and I enjoy watching him play now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he just falls off a cliff when his bat speed starts to slow down.
Chisox is the type that will say he deserves this contract, then when it starts to look bad, he’ll say it was dumb.
So stretch why offer him any opt out
He’s not taking under 200 million in an extension. Better off testing the open market if they don’t value him for the stud he is
Most overrated player in the game today.
Covid didn’t get you yet. Congratulations.
you’re on the wrong article if you really believe that.
I don’t believe it. I know he’s the most overrated hot dog in the game today.
You obviously do not really know anything then. But that has been obvious to everyone for a long time.
With Javy essentially having 1 year remaining after this whatever you call it season??, I expect him to easily command 28-32MM a year. Sure, he could get less AAV, but that means a longer deal. Maybe 5 years at 32MM/yr, 6 at 28MM/yr, 8 years @ 25MM/yr. the guy is amazing. This is all pending him come out and play well this year. If he doesn’t, he’s looking at closer to bottom end of 20MM’s. Bryant will be a better long-term player, but Javy seems more dedicated to the cubs. In my franchise modes/dream worlds, cubs retain Javy, Kris and Rizzo. Contreras can walk. schwarber too if he wants more than 15-18MM a year.
15-18 million for Schwarber? Maybe if he turns the page and becomes JD Martinez as opposed to JD Drew.
What is going to hurt Baez is the depth of the short stop position and his inability to get on base.
I know Baez has had the higher WAR the past two seasons but Lindor is still going to be the cream of the short stop crop because of two things he does better than Javy, get on base and make contact.
Teams are starting to value contact more and more in the age of launch angle. Lindor also swipes about 20 bags per year which IMO, the stolen base will become more and more valuable as well.
I personally think Baez and Story are both in line for 25-27.5 million AAV.
I’m not sure why you are undervaluing Contreras, he is easily a top 5 catcher in baseball and when healthy is generally the Cubs best bat. Frankly, if he isn’t behind the dish, I would play in the outfield, especially against south paws.
Seems like Bryants the one that drew the short stick in Chi-
Markets going to be very different folks……dont be surprised if these numbers are a lot smaller than you think today. Reading some comments it feels like some people think its going to be business as usual, highly doubt that-
Last year I woulda said 6/150 might insult Baez , next year that might be the best he can get-
Cubs, as the author stated,, are in (better) shape next year on the books……still just a ton of holes though, they cant go breaking the bank…especially if the market isnt going to dictate you to do so at this point, will be interesting to see un-fold
Bryant has given himself the short stick with his play. Granted, I believe his fall off has more to do with his shoulder and who is batting in front of him but a guy, IMO, that has posted a 1.9 WAR (granted, injury shortened) and a 3.7 is not a 10 year 300 million dollar player.
KB wants Arenado money, problem is that the last time Arenado failed to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 RBI’s was in 2014 and he earned a gold glove every season he has been in the league. Where Bryant has only driven in 100 once, still strikes out too much and his defense has fallen off a cliff.
Do defensive calculations include that incredible tag he has. If I’m Contreras I’m praying he stays
Baez and Rizzo are a top priority. Extend them now and then extend KB this winter or maybe mid-season or whatever it takes. Baez, Rizzo and Bryant you have to keep. Worry about Contreas in 2 years. Who is also a must extend player
I find Baez is a little overrated. Good average but whats hurts him is his 694 carrer ks to 121 bb.
Baez changes the game. Alleged “Gold Glover” Lorenzo Cain made 3 errors in CF one season just trying to throw out Baez.
Arenado has been ate up a couple times on balls hit by Baez as well. The way he busts it down the line creates a lot of defensive mistakes.