The Chicago Cubs are loaded with premium talent at the Major League level. This season has already seen the promotion of two elite prospects in Addison Russell and Kris Bryant, whom are doing quite well adjusting to the rigors of big league play. However, Chicago still has one slight issue to resolve. Where does Javier Baez fit into their plans?
Baez was once considered the future of the Chicago Cubs. He was the team’s first-round selection in the 2011 MLB Draft, and has been tearing through the minor leagues since his professional debut. Although, when the team traded for infielder Addison Russell last season things became less clear for the future of Baez.
Currently, the Cubs have quite a crowded infield. Bryant, Russell, and Starlin Castro make up the team’s core, leaving Baez as the odd man out. During his MLB call up late last year, Baez only managed to hit .169 and struck out 95 times in 213 at bats.
There was hope that Baez would make the Cubs roster out of Spring Training, but manager Joe Maddon believed more seasoning was needed for the youngster.
Things got complicated for Baez when he had to take absence from the Cubs AAA team due to a death of a family member, leaving the door open for Russell to earn a promotion to the major league club.
Chicago looks as if they will be hanging around the playoff picture, so it’s possible GM Theo Epstein looks to explore trade options for Baez, something which could be in his best interest.
“He needs a change of scenery,” one major league scout told CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman.
Having a plethora of options for your team is a good problem to have for the Cubs, but it’s not for Javier Baez.