DETROIT – When the Cubs decided to trade away the core of their 2016 World Series championship team in July, many wondered how many of those players could return to the club in free agency.
It appears that Javier Baez won’t be one of those who will make his way back to the north side.
Per numerous reports, first from Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the former Cubs’ shortstop will be signing a six-year, $140 million dollar contract with the Detroit Tigers. The club has yet to confirm the move.
This total would actually be less than the Cubs reportedly offered Baez before the 2020 season, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. In his report from April, he reported that the Cubs offered $180 million to Baez but turned it down.
He is the first of the core players from the team’s initial rebuild under Theo Epstein the last decade to sign with a new club after being traded. Third baseman Kris Bryant (Giants) and first baseman Anthony Rizzo (Yankees) remain free agents.
A two-time All-Star, 2016 National League Championship Series co-MVP, a 2018 MVP finalist, and 2020 Gold Glove winner with the Cubs, Baez was traded to the Mets on July 31st for outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong. He finished with a slash line of .299/.371/.515 with nine homers and 22 RBI after arriving in New York, finishing the year overall with a .265 average with 31 homers and 87 RBI, though he did lead the league with 184 strikeouts.