Jon Heyman predicts that Javier Baez will return to Cubs in free agency
(670 The Score) Jon Heyman of MLB Network and Audacy Sports has a prediction as free agency looms for shortstop Javier Baez.
“I think the Cubs are going to get him back,” Heyman said on his Big Time Baseball podcast.
Baez played his first seven-and-a-half MLB seasons for the Cubs before being traded to the Mets in late July. He’s set to hit free agency for the first time in his career, and there’s still a strong connection between him and the Cubs organization, as Heyman explained on the Mully & Haugh Show on 670 The Score on Tuesday morning while expanding on the topic.
“With Baez, it was only a few years ago when the pandemic hit when they were very close to a deal around, I think, around $160 million, maybe a little more than that,” Heyman said. “I think that’s about the number for Baez anyway. They obviously like him. He likes it in Chicago. He didn’t have any thumbs-down thing in Chicago. So I’m going to say he goes back to the Cubs. Of all the (former Cubs), that’s the one that I think has a chance. (Anthony) Rizzo, it seemed like a bad ending with Rizzo. (Kris) Bryant, I just don’t think he’s going back to the Cubs. I think the Cubs generally need pitching more than hitting anyway. So I don’t know that Baez is a strong likelihood to go back to the Cubs, but of the players that they’ve had, he’s the most likely.”
Baez, who turns 29 in December, was an All-Star in 2018 and 2019. He hit .265 with 31 homers, 87 RBIs and an .813 OPS in 138 games split between the Cubs and Mets in 2021.
The “thumbs-down thing” that Heyman referred to was an incident in which Baez and a few of his Mets teammates gave their fans the thumbs-down sign during games because they were upset with the external criticism during their late-season struggles.
You can listen to Heyman’s full interview on the Mully & Haugh Show below.