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Per several reports, the Chicago Cubs and perennial MVP candidate, Javier Baez, will try to reach a contract extension during the Winter Meetings.
Just as he noted in his end-of-year press conference, Theo Epstein is going to attempt to lock up some of his younger players to long-term contract extensions and it appears that Javier Baez will have the first crack at it. Jon Heyman is reporting that both the Chicago Cubs and Baez’s reps will discuss a potential extension during the Winter Meetings.
Baez, 26, is the only first-round pick on the roster from the previous regime and has blossomed into one of the faces of Major League Baseball.
His 14.3 fWAR since the 2016 season is good for fourth-best in the National League among qualified shortstops behind Corey Seager, Trevor Story, and Trea Turner. Of those four, Baez has a 0.504 slugging percentage, trailing only Story in that category – who may be benefiting from his home ballpark of Coors Field.
After finishing second in NL MVP voting a year ago, Baez was the beneficiary of a noticeable salary increase via arbitration, going from $657,000 in 2018 to $5.2 million this past season. He’s currently projected to earn $9.3 million next year via arbitration and is under team control through the 2021 season.
Javier Baez’s reps and the Cubs are expected to sit down at the winter meetings to see if an extension is possible. Would be a whopper obvs. Cubs still need to figure out who from the core will be [email protected] 1st mentioned Baez talks
11:14 PM – Nov 26, 2019
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Baez is never going to be a player that is going to draw a lot of walks, and quite frankly, he doesn’t have to be. Last season, Baez had a career-high average exit velocity (91.0 mph) to go along with a career-low average launch angle (7.6), which tells me that he’s driving the ball to all parts of the field. His defense and base running are never going to be question marks, as both categories are among the best in the National League.
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Let’s get one thing straight though. Any contract extension that Baez receives is going to be north of $20 million AAV in what figures to be a multi-year deal that will keep him in a Cubs uniform for years to come. With Willson Contreras potentially being available this offseason and Kris Bryant waiting on his grievance hearing results, Baez makes the most sense to extend this offseason. We’ll have more on this in the coming weeks.