REPORT: Cubs will attempt to extend Baez, Rizzo; Mets, Nationals interested in Bryant


by - Senior Writer -
While some members of the Cubs' core could be traded in the near future, others could receive contract extensions. (Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports)
While some members of the Cubs' core could be traded in the near future, others could receive contract extensions. (Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO — It is well known that the Chicago Cubs are exploring potential trade partners in order to deal off third baseman Kris Bryant and closer Craig Kimbrel. However, those are not the only two star players the Cubs are considering moving on from prior to the July 30 trade deadline, as shortstop Javier Baez and first baseman Anthony Rizzo are also potential trade pieces.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported on Friday that the Cubs are aiming to extend Baez and Rizzo, both of whom are in line to become free agents in the offseason, before attempting to trade them, should no contract agreements be reached. The Cubs' front office reached an impasse with Rizzo when attempting to ink him to a contract extension before the start of the regular season, but Heyman believes that a second attempt will be made.

As for Baez, he also failed to come to an agreement with the Cubs this past offseason, as he reportedly turned down an offer in the range of $180 million. Baez essentially bet on himself to show out in 2021 and attract more lucrative offers following the season's end. "El Mago" currently leads the Cubs with 21 home runs, but he also leads the majors with 115 strikeouts, meaning that it might behoove Baez to reconsider his plan to enter free agency.

Heyman reported that the New York Mets and Washington Nationals are both interested in trading for Bryant. The Mets were mentioned in trade rumors surrounding Bryant off and on last offseason, but Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer never pulled the trigger. This time around, Hoyer is likely to deal away Bryant, who could potentially reunite with former Cubs teammates Kyle Schwarber, a left fielder for the Nats, and Jon Lester, a starting pitcher for the Nats. Needless to say, Hoyer has a busy couple of weeks ahead of him.

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