Rockies Sign Their Star Shortstop to an Extension – But Only Through His Arb Years

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Rockies Sign Their Star Shortstop to an Extension – But Only Through His Arb Years

Chicago Cubs

When reports broke last night that the Rockies were getting close to an extension with shortstop Trevor Story, I got a little excited to see what the deal would look like, possibly serving as another data point in the Cubs’ talks with Javy Baez.

Alas, it’s not a long-term deal, and instead just finishes up his two remaining arbitration years:

Story, who just turned 27 like Baez, is coming off back-to-back huge years (like Baez), and is set to be a free agent in two years (hey, like Baez!). He and the Rockies hadn’t yet settled on a deal for 2020 in arbitration (he requested $11.5 million, the Rockies returned at $10.75 million), so this deal settles that year and finishes off next year a little early.

Is there *any* useful context here for us as it relates to the Cubs and Baez? Well, I suppose you could say it sets an early price range for that final arbitration year, for which Story is getting about $16.5 million. He was a touch ahead of Baez on the arb scale this year thanks to better production in his career so far, so you could argue that $15 to $17 million should be the absolute top for what Baez could expect to earn in 2021 if he were to sign a deal today.

As we’ve discussed, last year’s Xander Bogaerts extension (6/$120 million, opt-out halfway) is probably the most useful template out there on a Baez extension, though I would anticipate he is looking to beat that one by a good bit. By the hard data, Baez probably shouldn’t fairly expect more than Bogaerts (indeed, there’s a pretty good argument he should come in at less than Bogaerts did, even after inflation). But as I think about Baez’s extra value – the star factor, which is non-zero when you talk about fans coming out to the games and tuning in to Marquee – probably accounts for something if you want to lock him up long-term. He’s on the cover of MLB The Show this year for a reason.

Maybe Story getting what he did for his final year of arbitration will somehow help spur talks a little more at the margins for the Cubs and Baez. Where I landed before still stands: six years, $140 million, no opt-out. DO IT, GUYS!

I included it because there weren’t a lot of Getty shots of Story and Baez together, but also because it just looks like a sweet picture where you know exactly what Javy was trying to do:

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.