The Cubs were ready to pay shortstop Javy Báez entering last season.
That's at least according to one report by ESPN's Buster Olney, who wrote Sunday the Cubs offered Báez an extension "somewhere in the range of $180 million" prior to the 2020 season.
The exact timing of that offer is unclear, but the Cubs and Báez were discussing an extension during 2020 spring training, prior to COVID-19 shutting the sports world down.
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Of course, Báez struggled after baseball returned for a shortened season last July, posting a .203/.238/.360 slash line in 59 games. He won his first ever Gold Glove Award, however.
Team president Jed Hoyer discussed extensions with Báez and other core players this spring, and Báez, who's set to hit free agency this offseason, said he's willing to negotiate during the regular season. He's part of a loaded free agent shortstop class with Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Corey Seager.
Fernando Tatis Jr. and Francisco Lindor recently signed extensions worth over $300 million this spring. Báez, for what it's worth, said those deals help the other upcoming free agent shortstops.
Where he stacks up in that group might be the million-dollar question.
Or perhaps the $180 million question.