Javier Baez avoids arbitration with Cubs, settles for $11.65M

Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs. (Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs. (Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

Javier Baez and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a one-year deal to avoid going to arbitration.

Chicago Cubs star infielder Javier Baez will be back in the Windy City for at least one more season, as the two-time NL All-Star has settled for a one-year deal worth $11.65 million to avoid going to arbitration.

Baez has spent his entire seven-year MLB career with the Cubs, winning a World Series in Chicago back in 2016. Though he was an integral part of the Joe Maddon era of Cubs baseball, 2021 marks the second year of the David Ross era in Chicago. Baez is coming off a down season, but if he plays up to his standard in his age-28 season, he could be a huge get on the free-agent market.

Could 2021 be the last year Javier Baez plays for the Chicago Cubs?

The expectation is that the Cubs have completed their competitive life cycle. Maddon left for the Los Angeles Angels last offseason. Former general manger Theo Epstein left the team after 2020 to join the league office. Though Chicago plays in the weakest of the three National League divisions, an inevitable rebuild may be approaching on the North Side in the coming years.

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For that reason, Chicago may let Baez walk after the 2021 MLB season. Chicago may have won the NL Central last year, but late September and October implosion have hurt the Cubs each season since they won it all back in 2016. New blood may be what is necessary to turn the former lovable losers back into winners. This could be the last contract Baez signs as a Cub.

Regardless, Baez is a legend for being on the 2016 World Series Championship team in Chicago.