Javier Baez says he is now open to further negotiations on an extension through the 2021 season.
Photo: ABC 7 Chicago
Baez noted that the Cubs and his picks didn’t talk much during spring training. However, he said he was in no hurry to extend the deadline to give both sides more time to negotiate. Baez reportedly wanted to delay negotiations on an extension, but a new change of heart gives both sides more time.
Javier Baez is perhaps the most exciting Cuban player in the Big Three who needs a new contract. Rizzo is 31 years old. The next Mr. Rizzo will be the next Mr. Rizzo. Cabo since the late great Ernie Banks. There is little doubt that Rizzo and the Cubs will agree on a new contract. Kris Bryant is reportedly comfortable with the idea that 2021 will be his last season in a Cubs uniform, suggesting the two sides aren’t close in numbers or just ready to move on.
However, Baez is the youngest of the three, 28, and can compete as a free agent after 2021. Baez will join closer Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, Trevor Story and Carlos Correa as free agents after next season. However, Baez made it clear how much he loves Chicago and reiterated his desire to stay when asked about contract extension negotiations.
The fact that there is no deadline for Baez and the Cubs to negotiate is reassuring for all parties involved, including fans. The superstar nicknamed El Mago has been nothing short of magical for the Chicago Cubs. If the two sides can negotiate a fair deal, it means a long marriage between the Cubs and his fan-favorite shortstop.
That’s the real question. What does Javier Baez’s new contract look like?
When looking for benchmarks for Javier Baez’s contract, player Xander Bogaerts comes to mind. Bogaerts signed a six-year, $120 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, leaving his old shortstop behind in Bean Town. If you compare Baez’ career to Bogaerts’, Baez’ offensive numbers are slightly lower than the Red Sox’.
Bogaerts has more bets and plays, leading in both categories with 4,155 versus 2,708 and 970 versus 724. Baez has the same number of home runs as Bogaerts, but he has fewer hits, runs scored, RBI, walks and a lower average.
What does this mean for Baez? Well, in my mind, that would mean he gets about the same deal. Bogaerts played a lot more often than Baez, but Baez also didn’t become a regular starter until 2016 and didn’t become a full independent until 2017. Bogaerts has been a fixture in Boston since 2014.
Javi can also claim to be a better defender, as he wears the Golden Glove Award. Bogaerts has won the Silver Slug award three times and the All Star award twice. On the other hand, Baez is also a two-time All-Star, a Silver Slugger, but he adds a Gold Glove and an NLCS MVP.
After reviewing the Bogaerts and Baez cases, it is easy to conclude that the Bogaerts deal is a good starting point for Baez’s expansion. It’s reasonable to calculate that five to six years and something on the order of $18-25 million (per year) is a quality contract for Baez and the Cubs. Yes, Baez’ bat may not be enough for Bogaerts as a complete baseball player, but what Baez brings in defensively and on the basepaths is something that, while difficult to quantify, has a value to the Cubs that few baseball players can offer.