Cubs' Javier Baez Says Francisco Lindor's $341M Mets Contract 'Helps Everybody'April 6, 2021
Chicago Cubs star Javier Baez can become a free agent next offseason and is happy fellow shortstop Francisco Lindor is off the board after agreeing to a 10-year, $341 million extension with the New York Mets.
“It helps everybody," Baez said, per Patrick Mooney of The Athletic. "It helps other free-agent shortstops. No one was going to get more than Lindor, and you got to be honest about it. He opens the door for a lot of people."
Next year's free-agent class has several exciting options at shortstop, including Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa and Marcus Semien. With Lindor no longer an option for teams, there could be more of a bidding war for those still available.
The lofty contract—along with the 14-year, $340 million deal signed by Francisco Tatis Jr.—also sets a high market for teams trying to sign top players at the position.
Lindor arguably had the best resume of the bunch with four All-Star selections and two Gold Glove awards, but Baez will also be a hot commodity based on his production.
The 28-year-old has made two All-Star games, won a Gold Glove last year and a Silver Slugger in 2018. He finished second in MVP voting in 2018 when he hit .290 with 34 home runs and a league-high 111 RBI, losing out on the award to Christian Yelich.
Baez still has a chance to stay with the Cubs, but the organization has to also worry about Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant hitting free agency next winter.
"We have a lot of great players that are in contract years," Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. "Certainly, our hope is that we can have some of those players beyond 2021."
Baez should get paid handsomely regardless of his 2021 destination.