For the past couple offseasons, fans have discussed who would get a contract extension first from the Cubs’ young core of players. Kyle Hendricks was locked up during the season, but we might have an answer on the position side of things.
There have been rumblings since August that the Cubs were going to try and work out an extension with Javier Báez this offseason and that was affirmed by Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times earlier in November.
Those extension talks may lead to a deal as soon as the Winter Meetings in a couple of weeks. Jon Heyman is reporting that the Cubs and Báez’s reps will meet in San Diego in December, when they’ll hopefully come to an agreement.
Báez, who will be 27 in 2020, is under team control for two more years through arbitration. His estimated salary for the 2020 season is $9.3 million.
The Winter Meetings will take place from Dec. 8-12, in San Diego.
Just a guess, but if a deal does get done between the Cubs and Báez, I can see it being 5-6 years at $20 million-$22 million per year.
Meanwhile, the Kris Bryant trade speculation continues. At least this isn’t a dumb trade proposal, but ESPN’s Jesse Rogers wrote about the thoughts of some MLB executives on several offseason topics.
One of the survey questions posed to the 15 execs was out of Francisco Lindor, Kris Bryant and Mookie Betts, who’s most likely to get traded. Lindor received eight votes, Bryant seven and surprisingly Betts didn’t get a single one.
Bryant’s situation is murky as well. His service-time grievance should be decided soon, meaning if he wins, he’ll be a free agent next winter along with Betts. In any case, insiders believe he or Lindor — both are currently slated to become free agents after the 2021 season — are most likely to move teams this offseason.
“Bryant’s grievance would seem to complicate matters [for the Cubs],” said one executive who voted for Lindor.
But, said another exec who voted for Bryant: “The Cubs aren’t afraid to make a big move.”
I’ll keep repeating myself every time the Bryant trade rumors pick up, the Cubs will have to be blown away by a trade offer to deal Bryant away and unless the Cubs end up signing Anthony Rendon afterward I’m going to hate the move.