Will Javier Baez next contract top $200 million, and will the Cubs pay that much?

Chicago Cubs, MLB Free Agency

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Look for Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez to make over $200 million in his free agency.

The Chicago Cubs low-balled All-Star infielder Javier Baez, and doing so will cost them dearly.

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network confirms Buster Olney of ESPN’s report that the Cubs offered Baez a multi-year extension this spring. However, it was in the $160 to $170 million range for the Puerto Rican middle infielder. Even if he has gotten off to a slow start, Baez is hitting for power, stealing bases and has past success on his side. It looks like he will garner at least $200 million.

The Cubs are likely to lose two of the three in Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in free agency.

Chicago Cubs: Low-balling Javier Baez means he is going to be signing elsewhere

This is the last season much of the Cubs’ 2016 core that won the World Series will be together. Chicago does not have the financial capital to bring back all three star infielders from that championship team. While Bryant is as good as gone and likely will be traded at the deadline, Rizzo is the one most likely to be getting a new contract with the Cubs. Baez is on the fence.

Since all three are at or approaching 30, only one will be part of their rebuild. Rizzo’s power from the left side of the plate and Gold Glove defense at first makes him the likeliest candidate. Though Baez has considerable defensive versatility, he does not play either corner infield spot like Bryant or Rizzo do for the Cubs. Simply put, Baez will get a contract offer beyond what the Cubs can pay.

If the Cubs continue to fade into the summer, there is a chance Baez could be traded like Bryant.

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