With Opening Day having come and gone without any extensions, the entrees for asking about extension talks figure to be limited in coming weeks. “Any updates?” “Anything new, Javy?” “You had great extension on your swing today, and speaking of extension … ”
But certainly it’s fair to see if Javy Báez had any thoughts on the recently-inked monster deal for Francisco Lindor, who finally kicks off his Mets tenure today. Báez, who is friends with Lindor, knows that very few are a proper comp for Lindor, but the market sometimes moves together. And, yes, there are still lines of communication open with the Cubs:
Báez on Lindor's extension: "I think it helps everybody. I think it helps other other free agent shortstops. No one was going to get more than Lindor, and you've got to be honest about it. So, I think he opens the door for a lot of people here."
— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) April 5, 2021
Javy Baez on Lindor's contract: "It helps everyone. He opens the door for a lot of people."
Baez says his agents and Cubs are talking but nothing more than that right now.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) April 5, 2021
Javier Báez confirms he did not set an Opening Day deadline for contract talks, instructing his agent to continue discussions with the Cubs: “We’ll see what happens. They’re talking. I’m just playing my game.”
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) April 5, 2021
Lindor was set to be the top name on the coming free agent class, though as soon as the Mets traded for him, few expected him to actually hit the market. Minus Lindor, it’s still a huge group, headlined by Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, and Marcus Semien, among others, and in addition to Báez.
While Lindor getting $341 million doesn’t mean you can pencil in Báez of X% of that or whatever, it does make you wonder whether we’re seeing an upward trend overall, an upward trend in elite defensive shortstops (that’s a big part of Lindor’s excellent floor), or just a continuation of the trend where the truly elite get disproportionately larger contracts. The first two categories could certainly help move Báez’s expected price tag northward, while the last one probably does not. And, of course, the coming expiration of the CBA make things all the more challenging.
It’s nice to hear that the communications are still happening/possible, but it’s not clear what it would take to actually jumpstart things. As much as we WANT the Cubs to re-up with Báez for a long time to come, I do at least understand that finding the right price tag in this particular moment is tricky. At least there’s been no Opening Day cut-off ….