670 The Score - Jon Heyman of MLB Network and Audacy Sports said on the Mully & Haugh Show on Monday morning.... “We can start it with a 2 – we shall see,” Heyman said. “I’ve heard speculation that all the free-agent shortstops will get 200 (million) something. We’ll see. I’m (Trevor) Story and (Corey) Seager are shooting for 300 something. But I would think Baez would be $200 million-plus. I don’t think they’re there yet. But if they get there, maybe they could have a deal (soon).”
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I have absolutely no fucking clue where anyone is getting $200+ million for Javy Baez. That's like $30M a year for a guy that's far from being a $30M/year guy. Here's a list of all the infielders that average that kind of money: Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rendon and Manny Machado.
Here's all the infielders between $25-30M: Paul Goldschmidt.
Going down to $20M, you add Cano, Altuve, Josh Donaldson, Votto, Lindor, Bregman and Bogaerts.
So unless Javy Baez is looking at a 12-year extension, I'd be hard pressed to believe he gets anywhere close to the $200M number. On the low end, a basic comparison with Xander Bogaerts says Javy is worth less than $20M a season and that's using really obvious metrics.
But that's just talking baseball. That's considering on-field performance without any influence for jersey sales, fan engagement and all that subjective bullshit the business guys want to quantify and calculate. If we go down that line of thinking, Javy has an extremely strong argument for Total Value. My only counter is that all the fun stuff fades quickly with sub .500 baseball. The benefit of Javy's daily electricity grows exponentially with the club's overall success. It wouldn't make sense to overpay for Javy's goodwill only to stuff him on an 80 win team for the next couple seasons.
The unfortunate reality though is that someone will definitely overpay for this goodwill. You know deep down there's a club that would overcommit for Javy Baez this offseason. It would be an absolute nightmare scenario for the Cubs and I feel like a midseason extension is the only way to avoid it. But at $200M, you're in a lose-lose either way. Fans will be irate the Ricketts didn't spend money or we'll be disgusted that we put 20% of active payroll at SS. That number climbs to 35% when you add Jason Heyward's contract. Now ask if you want over 1/3 of your baseball team consisting of those 2 guys. Not exactly a winning formula.
How the Cubs approach this is going to be a lot different than KB and Rizzo. With KB you basically have a guy with way less fan connectivity but more upside on the field. Rizzo has the fanbase but an aging back and objective arguments against his value over the next 5 years. You can pay a fortune for KB and justify it with his production. With Rizzo, you can work a deal with deferred money that should keep everybody happy, or some other creative alternative. There's good reason for something to get done on both sides.
I don't see that much middle ground with Javy. Fact is you face a much higher risk that someone overpays and the Cubs are left looking cheap and/or unprepared with one of the franchises most polarizing superstars. This could've been easily avoided with an extension after 2015-2019 but we never got there. Money had to go to countless other free agents, none of which I care to name out of unwanted angst and disgust. Instead I'd rather just wish Jed and the front office luck as they navigate this impending mess. Notwithstanding a miracle outcome, a massive number of people will be upset with what's probably going to happen.
My ideal solution? Rattle off 10 straight wins, get back into a playoff hunt and then worry about this shit later. If all else fails, ask yourself if you can get a better trade return for Javy now than the 1st round 2022 compensation draft pick we get if he leaves in free agency. Sources say that's a coin-flip diagnosis so just put on your positive pants and hope for a drastic surge. It's really our only hope of prolonging our inevitable devastation. Even if it's a pathetic hope, it's the only one we got. Stay with me fellas.
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