(670 The Score) Keeping with a theme of Cubs spring training as a handful of the team’s core members are in walk years, shortstop Javier Baez was asked Friday about the financial landscape in MLB and particularly the contract that had baseball buzzing recently – Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.’s 14-year, $340-million deal to remain in San Diego for years and years.
"Obviously, that is great for him,” Baez said. “I don't think anybody would say no to $340 million. He is one of the best guys out there, and he was smart about it. I don't compare my career with other shortstops. I just let my game speak for me, but I am grateful for Tatis and his contract.”
Baez, 28, is under contract through the end of the 2021 season, raising questions about what his future holds. He reiterated that he’d like to return to the Cubs, but his goal right now is to prove himself as one of baseball’s best shortstops after he struggled in hitting .203 with a .599 OPS in the shortened 2020 season.
"When you talk about my game, the fans love me for the way I play defense,” Baez said. “If I can get better with my offense, I hopefully will be at the same level as anybody or in the top three. I will let my game do the talking. I don't want to play anywhere else. Still, there are 29 other teams. Not all of the shortstops will sign with the teams they are with now. We will see where we wind up during spring training or during the season.”
Baez and the Cubs aren’t currently holding contract extension discussions, he said.
“We have had talks the last two or three spring trainings,” Baez said. “Obviously, I am willing to sit down with them and listen. I want to stay here. We won here. They know what I can do.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.