ESPN’s Marly Rivera reports that infielder Javier Báez and the Cubs have paused talks of a contract extension while Major League Baseball remains shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The two sides began extension talks during spring training, but both Báez and the Cubs have had more important things to worry about in the time since.
Báez, 27, avoided arbitration in his second year of eligibility, agreeing to a $10 million salary for the 2020 season back in January. He has one more year of eligibility remaining before he can potentially enter free agency.
Last season, Báez hit .281/.316/.531 with 29 home runs and 85 RBI over 561 plate appearances. It was a solid season, but a slight step back from 2018, when he finished second in NL MVP voting after belting 34 home runs and leading the league with 111 RBI.
Báez sounds interested in remaining with the Cubs. The Cubs, obviously, are interested in retaining one of the game’s top players and one of its most likeable and marketable players as well. It seems like they should eventually come together on a new contract before it’s too late.