Cubs Will Try To Extend Rizzo, Baez Before Talking Trade

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MLB Trade Rumors 16 July, 2021 - 12:21pm 15 views

When is the MLB trade deadline?

MLB trade deadline 2021: Kris Bryant, Max Scherzer, Trevor Story among 21 top trade candidates. Major League Baseball's trade deadline is approaching more quickly than usual. This year's deadline is set for 4 p.m. ET on Friday, July 30, or a day earlier than the traditional date. CBS sports.comMLB trade deadline 2021: Kris Bryant, Max Scherzer, Trevor Story among 21 top trade candidates

Who did the Cubs trade?

The Chicago Cubs have traded outfielder Joc Pederson to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Bryce Ball, the teams announced on Thursday. In 73 games for Chicago this year, Pederson slashed .230/.300/.418 with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs. The AthleticCubs trade Joc Pederson to Braves for prospect Bryce Ball

The Cubs have already traded Joc Pederson to the Braves and are expected to continue selling veteran players in the two weeks leading up to the deadline, but they’ll first take one last effort at hammering out contract extensions with shortstop Javier Baez and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter).

Both Rizzo and Baez have been viewed as extension candidates with the Cubs for the past several years, but neither has worked out a deal to remain in Chicago beyond the 2021 campaign. Rizzo is playing out the second of two option seasons that were included on his original  seven-year, $41MM contract with the club.

Chicago unsurprisingly picked up both of those club options, and Rizzo will end up earning a combined $75MM over a nine-year term. The Cubs reportedly offered Rizzo a five-year, $70MM contract extension back in Spring Training — about $60MM less than the Cardinals guaranteed Paul Goldschmidt for the same portion of his career.

As for Baez, he’s playing out his final arbitration year and earning $11.6MM before reaching free agency. The two parties were reported to be progressing in talks on a long-term deal in spring 2020 before the season was shut down.

Neither Rizzo nor Baez is playing at peak levels in 2021, although both have rebounded somewhat from a down year in 2020. Rizzo posted a .222/.342/.412 batting line in 243 plate appearances last year but is up to .247/.342/.429 so far in 2021. His .182 ISO (slugging minus batting average) is his lowest mark since 2012, as is his 9.7 percent walk rate. Rizzo’s production this season is still comfortably above the league average, by measure of wRC+ (111), but it’s a far cry from his 2014-19 levels (.284/.388/.513, 141 wRC+). He’ll  turn 32 next month, however, which surely impacts the team’s comfort level both in terms of contract length and annual value.

For Baez, the 2020 season was nightmarish. He batted just .203/.238/.360 with career-worst walk (3.0) and strikeout (31.9) percentages as his power dipped to its lowest level since 2016. This year, he’s batting .238/.284/.493 with 21 home runs — some of the best power output of his career. However, Baez’s long-troubling strikeout issues have ballooned to new heights in 2021, as he’s fanned in 36.6 percent of his plate appearances. He remains an excellent defender and won’t turn 29 until the offseason, so there are still several years of Baez’s physical prime left.

Both players are somewhat difficult to value from an extension standpoint at the moment. Rizzo hasn’t bounced all the way back from last year’s downturn in production, and any new contract would be buying out his mid-30s. Baez is younger and enjoying a larger bounceback effort, but his glaring swing-and-miss tendencies and bottom-of-the-scale OBP are difficult to overlook.

The Cubs have tried at various points to lock up both players, and it seems it’ll be even more difficult now to hammer out terms in a two-week window leading up to the trade deadline — particularly when the front office is also dedicating so much time to fielding trade interest in other players on the roster. That’s not to say an extension for either player is out of the question, but the timing isn’t exactly working in their favor. The absence of an extension doesn’t make a trade a foregone conclusion, however; either player would be a candidate for a qualifying offer, which would give the Cubs an opportunity to retain them on a high-priced one-year deal or at least gain a compensatory draft pick should they sign elsewhere.

As notable in Heyman’s report on the likelihood of extension talks with Baez and Rizzo is that it appears no such talks are being planned with star third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant. The former NL Rookie of the Year and NL MVP is enjoying a more substantial rebound season than either of his two aforementioned teammates and figures to enter the offseason as one of the top free agents on the open market. He’ll draw interest from a wide number of contenders as they look to bolster their lineup over the next 14 days, and the absence of any last-ditch extension talks would seem to indicate an acknowledgement of that ship having sailed.

Bryant, Craig Kimbrel, Zach Davies, and Andrew Chafin are among the likeliest Cubs to change hands in the coming days, and they’ll surely receive interest in veterans Willson Contreras and Kyle Hendricks as well. Contreras, however, is controlled through 2022 via arbitration. Hendricks is signed affordably through the 2023 campaign with an option for 2024. Given that level of remaining club control, there’s less urgency to make a deal involving either player, though that won’t stop other teams from trying to pry them loose.

Makes no sense they need to blow it up before it’s to late

It’s not gonna ve a full rebuild though. Trading everyone is dumb.

Rizzo is done negotiating though. They lowballed him during spring training. The numbers for baez are unknown other than him turning down 200mil but not that 200mol would be great for him. He won’t get that in the open market.

@Billy, disagree. Anyone they trade can be signed back this offseason. Assuming they’re punting on this season, it makes little sense they would let assets walk away for just a QO pick or nothing at all. The only downside of a trade is they lose the chance to retain these players on QO’s. I don’t think Baez gets one and I don’t think Rizzo accepts. KB certainly wouldn’t accept. So they’d get a couple of picks and that’s about it. Certainly, they can find better offers than that.

The cubs already know their lines on these guys. They probably won’t match any offer. Therefore they need to weigh a trade return vs a QO rejection return.

I like the idea a lot with the weight of a QO and trade and all that. The only issue is if you trade them and they go off (unpredictable I’m aware) you risk paying more. Don’t get me wrong I’m in for selling though.

How exactly is $70 mil over 5 years a lowball offer for someone soon to be 32 and coming off a season in which they batted just .203/.238/.360 with career-worst walk (3.0) and strikeout (31.9) percentages and saw their power dipped to its lowest level since 2016?

You’re mixing up Baez’s stats and Rizzo’s offer.

Rizzo is fine to extend if he’s not expecting Goldy numbers, something in between that valuation and the Cubs’ previous offer. But with how stacked their farm is with MI, it’s time to let Baez walk

I don’t get it at all. If there’s one player you want to extend, to me, that’s Kris Bryant. I get that he probably wants to test the market but if you’re gonna put effort in somewhere, I think you should start there. Honestly I would probably trade everybody.

If Rizzo gets them a package they like they should move him. He is 31 History has shown if you tie up a 30+ to a 5+ year contract you end up overpaying for the back half of the deal because production goes over a cliff.

You are correct: Just ask the Tigers

I am torn which way this organization should go, as a Chicago fan, living through the post Jordan era Bulls was brutal. If Baez, Bryant and Rizzo are gone this year, next year Contreras will follow. I guess they just going back to sucking.

Contreras should be extended. No team will give up 2 top 10 prospects plus 2 mid level players. Hopefully at least one being ML ready.

As a reds fan, please pay and extend these guys! They deserve it. Future is really bright with these guys!

Is that…is that a Reds fan? Y’all have been rather quiet for, what, thirty years now? Cubs will win another world series before the reds…

Senzel is just youth, not quality youth

Reds going to be very good for the next 5 years and they will win the division this year

They won’t win the division, the Brewers are just too much better unless their pitching absolutely falls apart

Ack it is waaaaaaay too early in the day to be this drunk. Make sure you call a cab or an Uber. Remember to mix in a water too. You’ll thank me later.

31 after this year. 31 year since Paul O’Neil punted the ball to the cutoff man.

Reds will likely win NL Central this year and look sneaky good, this is coming from a cubs fan., I kind of hope they do well, big Joey Votto fan.

Why would the Cubs try to lock down those two? They won a world series with their core 5 years ago. Its over.

Because they should keep a veteran or two who know how to win in the playoffs. That helps a team wanting to compete with young players in the next couple years, which is what the Cubs will only have once they trade away the rest.

See if you don’t go to the playoffs that’s pointless, if you want a vet bat don’t go Baez for sure because he has nothing to offer to young players other than K tips and some baserunning/fielding magic only he can do. Rizzo fine but there are other cheaper veteran 1B options. For example Max Muncy I think is FA (feel free to fact check)

Muncy is a good thought. But he signed a 3 year deal with the Dodgers, tied up until 2024 season.

I was just thinking of how much teams tend to pay to get a veteran presence and the Cubs already have one.

I think they extend Baez and not Rizzo

They should consider the impact to the city as well. Rizzo had done a tremendous amount of charity with his foundation in Chicago. It brings a lot of good press to the Cubs. They took a hit with losing Schwarber and Lester with all their work. While I like Baez for his passion for the game, Rizzo is a leader.

that’s not at all a good business move at all

The Ricketts have put a lot of money into the image of the Cubs. They’re crying poor because they’re leveraged to the hilt on real estate development in Wrigleyville. They need the Cubs to look good, not play good.

They’re just trying to buy low. They will fail and claim “they tried’.

Offer rizzo 4yrs $70MM with an option for a 5th year at $20MM with a $10MM buyout. He won’t get better than that on the open market. Offer Baez the QO – he’ll take it so he can be the best SS on the market after 2022 instead of a runner up trophy for this years crop of SS’s. If he doesn’t – you at least get a pick. Trade KB for a couple of P’s that will be ready in 2023. Extend Contreras. Only take offers on Hendricks if Heyward is attached.

Good thoughts there…think that’s exactly what they will do.

Hendricks has a team-friendly contract through 2024. Dumping him for only eating Heyward’s salary makes absolutely no sense given the Cubs’ struggle developing quality pitching. We need a stabilizer at the right price unless something amazing comes along.

I didn’t mean to imply dumping Hendricks for pennies on the dollar just to unload Heywards contract -..only that they should be open to only offers that include Heyward being involved as well.

I hear ya. However, Heyward has a full no-trade clause (I don’t know if he has an acceptable teams list) and Hendricks is under one more year of control than Heyward. It would have to be a crazy nuts deal for $ and P unless we suddenly grow SP.

He might also take it just because he’s been having a couple down years and might want to “prove it” before entering the market.

Only problem with that is if you can trade him for more than the QO pick you’re losing out on value by holding onto him.

I think an Abreu, Molina-type contract should be enough for Rizzo. 3yrs, $50-60 million. Add a vesting option for a fourth year and incentives or escalators for awards. If he doesn’t go for it, QO him and good luck to him on the open market.

This is what teams do. I’m not sure how anyone can be against the Cubs blowing it up. They had a run of success, they won a World Series and now it’s time to fix the salary cap and rebuild the farm system. That is how you maintain success long term. Avoiding shelling out big contracts to Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez will make it easier to spend in the future once the prospects youd get in return are ready and once some of the other bad contracts like Heywards are off the books.

Cubs should trade Rizzo, Baez, Bryant, Davies for sure since they are expiring deals and could be brought back as free agents in the off-season if they wanted. They could go either way on Kimbrel, I say trade him now, but they could always pick up the option and trade him in the off-season. Also trade Contreas in the off-season. And obviously see what, if anything, you can get for guys like Chafin, Duffy, etc. if you can also figure out someway to package someone like Hendricks or Kimbrel with Hayward to try and unload that contract that would be great but it’s a longshot.

Regardless though, it’s time to rebuild and retool the roster for a year or two.

Sentimentality aside, @jawinks is right. Our minors are stacked with MI, and Nico Hoerner’s natural position is SS where he got some looks in Spring Training. That dude actually makes contact, too. Let Baez and his all-or-nothing approach walk. Sure he’s can be electric, but his OBP is always a smattering above his average.

Who’s replacing Rizzo at 1B? Patrick Wisdom who is exactly 1 year younger than Rizzo? Bote? The guy we just got from the Braves is at High A. Wisdom might have options left, but that’s a huge loss at 1B defensively and I refuse to give up Rizzo’s offense not bouncing back. What would they even get for Rizzo at this point of the season as well? Intangibly, he’s also the team’s captain. Wouldn’t make sense for me.

I’ll laugh so hard if they sign Baez to a huge deal. And my Cubs friends will cry.

They want out not to go through a rebuild stop kidding yourself.Cubs trying to put on a good face with the fans

My first thought too. As a Cubs fan, it’ll be tough seeing these guys leave. Whether you love them or hate them, the Cubs have been one of the best teams in baseball since 2015. This core brought back a championship. So many teams don’t. It’s time though.

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Cubs will reportedly try again on Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez extensions before exploring trades

Yardbarker 16 July, 2021 - 12:26pm

The Cubs have already traded Joc Pederson to the Braves and are expected to continue selling veteran players in the two weeks leading up to the deadline, but they’ll first take one last effort at hammering out contract extensions with shortstop Javier Baez and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter).

Both Rizzo and Baez have been viewed as extension candidates with the Cubs for the past several years, but neither has worked out a deal to remain in Chicago beyond the 2021 campaign. Rizzo is playing out the second of two option seasons that were included on his original seven-year, $41M contract with the club.

Chicago unsurprisingly picked up both of those club options, and Rizzo will end up earning a combined $75M over a nine-year term. The Cubs reportedly offered Rizzo a five-year, $70M contract extension back in spring training — about $60M less than the Cardinals guaranteed Paul Goldschmidt for the same portion of his career.

As for Baez, he’s playing out his final arbitration year and earning $11.6M before reaching free agency. The two parties were reported to be progressing in talks on a long-term deal in spring 2020 before the season was shut down.

Neither Rizzo nor Baez are playing at peak levels in 2021, although both have rebounded somewhat from a down year in 2020. Rizzo posted a .222/.342/.412 batting line in 243 plate appearances last year but is up to .247/.342/.429 so far in 2021. His .182 ISO (slugging minus batting average) is his lowest mark since 2012, as is his 9.7% walk rate. Rizzo’s production this season is still comfortably above the league average, by measure of wRC+ (111), but it’s a far cry from his 2014-19 levels (.284/.388/.513, 141 wRC+). He’ll  turn 32 next month, however, which surely impacts the team’s comfort level both in terms of contract length and annual value.

For Baez, the 2020 season was nightmarish. He batted just .203/.238/.360 with career-worst walk (3.0) and strikeout (31.9) percentages as his power dipped to its lowest level since 2016. This year, he’s batting .238/.284/.493 with 21 home runs — some of the best power output of his career. However, Baez’s long-troubling strikeout issues have ballooned to new heights in 2021, as he’s fanned in 36.6% of his plate appearances. He remains an excellent defender and won’t turn 29 until the offseason, so there are still several years of Baez’s physical prime left.

Both players are somewhat difficult to value from an extension standpoint at the moment. Rizzo hasn’t bounced all the way back from last year’s downturn in production, and any new contract would be buying out his mid-30s. Baez is younger and enjoying a larger bounceback effort, but his glaring swing-and-miss tendencies and bottom-of-the-scale OBP are difficult to overlook.

The Cubs have tried at various points to lock up both players, and it seems it’ll be even more difficult now to hammer out terms in a two-week window leading up to the trade deadline — particularly when the front office is also dedicating so much time to fielding trade interest in other players on the roster. That’s not to say an extension for either player is out of the question, but the timing isn’t exactly working in their favor. The absence of an extension doesn’t make a trade a foregone conclusion, however; either player would be a candidate for a qualifying offer, which would give the Cubs an opportunity to retain them on a high-priced one-year deal or at least gain a compensatory draft pick should they sign elsewhere.

As notable in Heyman’s report on the likelihood of extension talks with Baez and Rizzo is that it appears no such talks are being planned with star third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant. The former NL Rookie of the Year and NL MVP is enjoying a more substantial rebound season than either of his two aforementioned teammates and figures to enter the offseason as one of the top free agents on the open market. He’ll draw interest from a wide number of contenders as they look to bolster their lineup over the next 14 days, and the absence of any last-ditch extension talks would seem to indicate an acknowledgement of that ship having sailed.

Bryant, Craig Kimbrel, Zach Davies and Andrew Chafin are among the likeliest Cubs to change hands in the coming days, and they’ll surely receive interest in veterans Willson Contreras and Kyle Hendricks as well. Contreras, however, is controlled through 2022 via arbitration. Hendricks is signed affordably through the 2023 campaign with an option for 2024. Given that level of remaining club control, there’s less urgency to make a deal involving either player, though that won’t stop other teams from trying to pry them loose.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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Report: Cubs Might Try to Lock up Anthony Rizzo, Javy Báez Before Deadline - Cubs Insider

Cubs Insider 16 July, 2021 - 12:08pm

The Rudown: Imminent Sell-Off Starts With Pederson Trade, Bryant Linked to Mets (Again), COVID Outbreak Postpones Y… https://t.co/RhuFZZYMvC

The one Chicago Cubs player the Oakland A’s need

White Cleat Beat 16 July, 2021 - 04:00am

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) rounds third to score on an RBI double off the bat of right fielder Jason Heyward (22) in the fourth inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Friday, July 2, 2021. The Cubs led 1-0 after five innings. Chicago Cubs At Cincinnati Reds

The Oakland A’s have several holes as they look to find their way into the postseason. The bullpen needs work, they are in desperate need of help in the outfield, and they could use more depth on their bench. It should be a busy trade deadline for the A’s, provided that ownership is willing to spend to improve their playoff hopes.

If ownership is willing to add payroll, the Chicago Cubs have a player that could make a dramatic difference for the A’s chances. Kris Bryant is an impending free agent, is seemingly unlikely to want to remain with the Cubs, and would fill several needs for Oakland.

After a disappointing 2020 campaign, Bryant is back to his usual levels of production. He has a .271/.353/.502 batting line in his 329 plate appearances, hitting 16 homers and 17 doubles. For an A’s team that has struggled to score runs at times this season, Bryant would be an instant upgrade to the lineup.

He has far more value than what he can provide with his bat. While Bryant had been known to shift between third base and left for the Cubs, he expanded his defensive versatility this season. He has made at least 14 appearances in all three outfield spots, while seeing time at first and third. As Bryant has been at least passable defensively at every position, he would also greatly improve any team’s depth.

The problem for the A’s would be his cost, both in terms of salary and prospects. Bryant will make over $6 million during the final two months of the season, more than all but five players on the A’s roster will make for the entirety of 2021.

The Cubs have also been adamant that they are not looking at a lengthy rebuilding process. They want to contend again in the short term, and could be interested in pieces that would fit that profile. While the A’s may not have top end talent in their farm system outside of Tyler Soderstrom, arms such as Grant Holmes, Daulton Jefferies, or even A.J. Puk could be of interest. It would obviously take more than one of those pitchers to facilitate a trade, but the Cubs do need pieces for the rotation moving forward.

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The Oakland A’s have several holes as they approach the trade deadline. Adding Kris Bryant may be a longshot, but he would be exactly what they need.

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Kris Bryant's father calls out Joe Buck over All-Star Game interview

CubsHQ 16 July, 2021 - 03:29am

The noteworthy exchange literally came out of left field, where Kris Bryant was playing defense at the time, and served as one of the more interesting moments of Tuesday's broadcast. However, not everyone appreciated the in-game interview at Coors Field, as Bryant's father, Mike, took Buck to task for his line of questioning.

Bryant's aforementioned heartfelt response was preceded by Buck asking the third-baseman-by-trade how he remained focused on baseball while being at the center of so many trade rumors. "KB" certainly did not seem to take offense to the question, but his dad was rather irked by it, which he revealed in an interview with Cubs Insider.

"I simply cannot express my disappointment at Joe Buck asking my son about his future with the Cubs while he was playing left field in the All-Star Game," Bryant said. "This was a classless act and has no place in the game. I'm so glad I was at the game and not watching it."

Although it is customary for Cubs fans to bemoan Buck's broadcasting, Bryant's complaint was personal, as the protective father found it to be distasteful for Buck to bring up trade chatter while yukking up with his son in the midst of a game. Bryant was so offended by it that he opined that Buck should apologize to his son.

"There's a time and a place for stuff like this," Bryant said, "and this was neither. Kris deserves an apology."

For what it is worth, the question was likely fed to Buck by producers, as it seemed to be the most logical inquiry to make when chatting with arguably the biggest name currently on the trade market. Regardless, Buck's interview of Bryant did not generate any sort of substantial criticism of Buck. Bryant's dad certainly did not hold back in his critique, though, but will almost certainly have his wish of Buck apologizing go unfulfilled.

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