Cubs Extension Talk: Conversations Are Happening, Nothing Doing with Rizzo or Schwarber Yet, More

It’s been known for a while that the Chicago Cubs would like to talk to Javy Baez about a long-term extension this offseason.

Baez has become one of the clear faces of the franchise, is one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball, has become an extremely productive bat the last two years, and is arguably the least internally-replaceable player in the organization. He also hasn’t made huge money yet in his career, so an extension for Baez has always made a lot of sense.

But, even if the Cubs do eventually get a deal done with Baez, are he and Kyle Hendricks going to be the only members of the core who wind up getting long-term deals? Remember, when we talk about smoothing the post-2021 transition, extensions are obviously a big part of that conversation, too.

If those extension talks are going to happen, though, it kinda sounds like it will have to be sooner rather than later:

I can’t really speak to whether it’s actually a distraction for guys to be talking extensions in the spring, but I could see how the Cubs get there: since they have generally not been successful in inking these deals, that means the players with whom they engage have gone into the season fresh off not getting that security in place. Maybe, for the Cubs and for certain players, it has had an impact?

In any case, some conversations are taking place, as Hoyer told the media last night (NBC Sports Chicago): “We always take the position of not commenting on extensions, but are we having those discussions? Yes. People focus so much on trades and free agent signings at these meetings, but all the agents are under the same roofs, also, and allows us to have those kinds of discussions. I’m not gonna specify who or what, but yeah certainly those conversations are ongoing.”

We know that Baez is one of those conversations, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Willson Contreras – before a trade happens – is another one of those conversations. We know that Kris Bryant is open to an extension, but that those talks have never been fruitful before.

What about Anthony Rizzo, who has two more option years left with the Cubs? His agent tells ESPN it isn’t happening right now: “The Cubs have informed us that they will not be offering Anthony an extension at this time. Anthony has let his desire to be a Cub for life known to the organization. Although we do not know what the future holds, a deal to make that happen will not be addressed now.”

I think it’s a universal feeling among Cubs fans that we want to see Rizzo be a Cub for life, but without arbitration contracts to negotiate and with his older age, you can understand why the Cubs might first prioritize a guy like Baez. Eventually, the talks with Rizzo will happen. Kinda sounds like he’s ready to have them now, though, and I expect the Cubs to do what is necessary to preserve that goodwill until a deal can be negotiated.

The ESPN report also indicates that Kyle Schwarber – who is also a free agent after 2021 – hasn’t been approached yet about an extension. His arbitration salary figures to be a tricky negotiation anyway (lots of big counting stats and service time, but also some down performance over the years and a major injury), so that one doesn’t surprise me either. I’d expect the Cubs and Schwarber to talk about an extension in that arb context next month when they have to sit down anyway. I’d love to see the Cubs lock down Schwarber for a number of years, because I’m a big buyer on his second half of 2019 being *the* step forward.

Pre-arb guys like Ian Happ and Victor Caratini are also conceivable extension candidates, but their part-time roles make finding an agreeable deal a little tricky, and they’re already under control for the post-2021 stretch anyway.

So, then, I suppose the size of all this? I expect serious negotiations with Baez to be ongoing right now, negotiations with Schwarber to take place next month, and negotiations with Rizzo to take place perhaps at some point next year. As for Bryant and Contreras, they are something of wild cards, depending on trade talks.

Hopefully something with Baez gets done soon, both for cost-certain purposes as the Cubs’ offseason proceeds, and also to open the door to those next level negotiations.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

more cubs news

Cubs Farm Report | April 17, 2024: PCA Goes Yard, Cade Horton Dominates, More

Pete Crow-Armstrong showed some life on Tuesday with a solo home run for the Iowa Cubs, but it was Luis Vázquez who played hero for Iowa in the end. Plus, Cade Horton dominated for the Smokies once again. That and...

Baseball America Has Added Another Chicago Cubs Prospect to Their Top-100 List

If you have been paying attention at all, I think it's going to be very easy for you to fill in these blanks: https://twitter.com/BaseballAmerica/status/1780601113198383137 Yes, that'd be Jefferson Rojas, the still-18-year-old shortstop for the High-A South Bend Cubs, currently hitting...

Chicago Cubs Lineup: Mastrobuoni and Tauchman, But No Canario?

CUBS LINEUP — How many rubber matches can one team have? After two wild games to start the series, the Cubs are looking to win their second-consecutive series this afternoon in Arizona. Jordan Wicks is on the mound for Chicago....

Cade Horton Dominated Once Again at Double-A, So What’s the Plan There?

As he's done nine times before, Cade Horton dominated in his latest outing for the Tennessee Smokies. It took him just 47 pitches to cruise through 4.0 innings of work and carve up the Rays' Double-A squad. https://twitter.com/MLBPipeline/status/1780387010039210247 Horton has...

Let’s Talk About Kyle Hendricks and the Bullpen (And Other Cubs Bullets)

Extra innings giveth, extra innings taketh away. Look on the bright side. After another historic loss late last night in Arizona (already their second on the season ... somehow), the Cubs' West Coast trip is nearly over. Yesterday was their...

At Least the Iowa Cubs Pulled Off a Big Comeback and Walked It Off

The big league team did do the comeback thing, but wound up on the wrong side of a walk-off against the Diamondbacks. That sucked. At least the Triple-A edition went the right way, as the Iowa Cubs came back from...

The Cubs Made Some of the Weirdest History Ever in Last Night’s Loss

For a team roughly on pace for 100 wins through the first 10% of the season, the 2024 Chicago Cubs sure are a roller coaster. Through 17 games, the Cubs have endured injuries to Jameson Taillon, Justin Steele, Julian Merryweather,...

Jac Caglianone Hit a 516-Foot Home Run

Anyone remember the absolutely monster home run then-Maryland shortstop Matt Shaw hit early in the 2023 college baseball season? This one: https://twitter.com/bigdonkey47/status/1641946092760604672 507 feet. That's just such a silly number. Sure, we're talking metal bats here, and you can see...

Enhanced Box Score: Diamondbacks 12, Cubs 11 – April 16, 2024

For as thrilling as the moments were in that one before the 9th inning, and as comparatively joy-making as the 9th and extras were the night before ... it was all pretty awful in the 9th and extras this time...

Ian Happ’s First Homer of the Year is a GO-AHEAD GRAND SLAM!

Sometimes, I don't know if I should use my power for good or evil. Tonight, it worked out for the best. https://twitter.com/Michael_Cerami/status/1780307655501684863 Ian Happ was just one of the guys going through a pretty rough stretch at the plate before...

Latest News

Dejounte Murray Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Bulls – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

To beat his 3-point prop, Dejounte Murray must make three from downtown on Wednesday, when his Atlanta Hawks play the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Play-In Tournament, beginning at 9:30 PM ET.Dejounte Murray's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the BullsDejounte Murray's...

Trae Young Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Bulls – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Atlanta Hawks face the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday at 9:30 PM ET in the NBA Play-In Tournament, and if the Hawks' Trae Young makes three 3-pointers, he'll beat his over/under.Trae Young's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the BullsTrae Young's over/under...

Nikola Vucevic Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Hawks – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Nikola Vucevic needs to make two 3-pointers to beat his over/under when the Chicago Bulls face the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday at 9:30 PM ET, in the NBA Play-In Tournament.Nikola Vucevic's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the HawksNikola Vucevic's over/under for...

DeMar DeRozan Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Hawks – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Chicago Bulls play the Atlanta Hawks at 9:30 PM ET on Wednesday, in the NBA Play-In Tournament, and one of the 3-pointer props available for this clash requires only one make from DeMar DeRozan.DeMar DeRozan's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs....

Coby White Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Hawks – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

On Wednesday at 9:30 PM ET, the Chicago Bulls meet the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Play-In Tournament, and Coby White's 3-pointer over/under for this clash requires three triples.Coby White's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the HawksCoby White's over/under for three-pointers...

Bogdan Bogdanovic Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Bulls – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

To beat his 3-point prop, Bogdan Bogdanovic must make three from beyond the arc on Wednesday, when his Atlanta Hawks meet the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Play-In Tournament, tipping off at 9:30 PM ET.Bogdan Bogdanovic's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs....

Dallas Cowboys 3-Round Mock Draft: Exploring Potential Picks in the First 3 Rounds

2024 Dallas Cowboys 3-Round Mock Draft -The sting of the Divisional Round loss to the Green Bay Packers still lingers in Dallas. While the Cowboys boast a young and talented core, bolstering the offense and fortifying the defensive line remain key...

Baseball America Has Added Another Chicago Cubs Prospect to Their Top-100 List

If you have been paying attention at all, I think it's going to be very easy for you to fill in these blanks: https://twitter.com/BaseballAmerica/status/1780601113198383137 Yes, that'd be Jefferson Rojas, the still-18-year-old shortstop for the High-A South Bend Cubs, currently hitting...

Connor Murphy Named Blackhawks Nominee for the King Clancy Trophy

On Wednesday morning, the NHL announced the 32 team nominees for the 2023-24 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is presented “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution...

Chicago Cubs Lineup: Mastrobuoni and Tauchman, But No Canario?

CUBS LINEUP — How many rubber matches can one team have? After two wild games to start the series, the Cubs are looking to win their second-consecutive series this afternoon in Arizona. Jordan Wicks is on the mound for Chicago....

more cubs news