MLBTR forecast a $10MM to $11.9MM arbitration salary for Baez earlier this offseason, so this deal checks in near the top of that projection. The Cubs could still try to work out an extension with Baez, though it doesn’t seem that will happen in the immediate future. For now, the 28-year-old remains on track to become a free agent after the upcoming season.
Regardless of whether an extension comes together, both the Cubs and Baez will hope for a better year out of the two-time All-Star, who posted one of his worst seasons in 2020. Baez did appear in 59 of the Cubs’ 60 regular-season games, but he batted a disastrous .203/.238/.360 (57 wRC+), recorded his worst ISO since 2016 (.158), and amassed 75 strikeouts against a mere seven walks over 235 plate appearances. That was hardly the star-level output Baez provided the Cubs from 2018-19, when he combined for a line of .286/.321/.544 (123 wRC+) in 1,206 PA and was among the most valuable infielders in the sport.