The Chicago Cubs are thinking about extending Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo this offseason.
As the Chicago Cubs begin their fire sale heading into the 2021 MLB trade deadline, they are not expected to move off shortstop Javy Baez or first baseman Anthony Rizzo, but rather extend them during the offseason.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports while third baseman Kris Bryant and closer Craig Kimbrel are firmly on the trading block, it seems as though the Cubs are potentially interested in locking up Baez and Rizzo on extensions instead of trading them. As with Bryant, Kimbrel and outfielder Joc Pederson, who they dealt to the Atlanta Braves, Baez and Rizzo are hitting free agency this winter.
Are Baez and Rizzo the right two players of the Cubs’ core to hang onto heading into a rebuild?
Chicago Cubs are interested in extending SS Javy Baez and 1B Anthony Rizzo
The Rizzo extension has been somewhat of an inevitability for the Cubs. If Chicago could only keep one member of their core heading into a rebuild, it was going to be their All-Star first baseman. Even if he is a free agent, it would have been shocking to see him wear another uniform in the second half of this season. As for Baez, the decision to extend him has been more up in the air.
When it comes to Baez, he fell between Rizzo and Bryant on the extension-to-being-traded spectrum. The Cubs did make a long-term offer to him back in the spring, but neither party could reach an agreement. While defensive versatility and pop at the plate serve him, Baez has struggled to hit for a high average at the plate of late. Extending him will be met with controversy.
If the Cubs do plan to extend Baez and Rizzo in 2022, they have a few months to get ready for it.