Baez posted a .429/.500/.786 slash line with three home runs in 11 Cactus League games before play was suspended. The electric 27-year-old wasted no time getting into a groove this spring, though it's unclear when he or any other MLB players will be able to take the field again due to the coronavirus pandemic. When play is able to resume, Baez should quickly return to posting elite numbers for the Cubs.
Baez went 2-for-2 with a walk and a solo home run in Sunday's Cactus League game against the Mariners. Baez looks great in the early going, as he now has two home runs and an absurd 1.914 OPS through five Cactus League games. The 27-year-old has established himself as an MVP-caliber player and should post elite numbers once again in 2020.
Manager David Ross said there are no lingering issues with Baez's thumb, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. "He's told me no. I've asked him that. I asked him that a while back with the training in the offseason, and I haven't heard anything from our training staff on that subject. So as far as I know, he's 100 percent." A hairline fracture in Baez's left thumb kept the 27-year-old sidelined for the majority of September last season, but it doesn't sound like there are any concerns regarding the injury heading into the 2020 season. Baez, who avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $10 million contract with the Cubs earlier in the offseason, hit .281/.316/.531 with 29 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 138 games in 2019.
Baez (thumb) reached an agreement with the Cubs for a one-year, $10 million deal Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports. Baez took a small step back from the MVP-candidate form he showed in 2018 but was still quite good last season, hitting .281/.316/.531 with 29 homers and 11 steals. He missed most of September with a hairline fracture on his left thumb. It's not yet clear if the injury will affect him in any way heading into spring training.
Manager Joe Maddon said he doesn't plan on using Baez (thumb) the rest of the season, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. This isn't all too surprising, as the Cubs are essentially eliminated from the playoffs. The shortstop put together another stellar season for Chicago, slashing .281/.316/.531 with 29 home runs and 11 steals in 136 games. Nico Hoerner should continue to fill in at shortstop for Baez.