CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs avoided arbitration with two players who will be free agents after 2021, as third baseman Kris Bryant settled with the team for $19.5 million for the upcoming season while shortstop Javy Baez will make $11.65 million.
Both players are coming off subpar 2020 campaigns. Bryant dealt with several nagging injuries, limiting him to just 34 games. He hit .206 with four home runs. Baez hit .203 with eight home runs.
Bryant, 29, will enter his seventh season with the Cubs after the club called him up 10 days into his rookie year in 2015 to keep him for an extra season before he hits free agency. Otherwise, he would be a free agent this winter.
Bryant filed a grievance against the team for being denied a full year of service time but lost the case last offseason. He has also been the subject of trade rumors, as he's unlikely to sign an extension with the team.
Meanwhile, Baez, 28, is more likely to stick with the Cubs long term before he hits the open market. He was negotiating with the team last March before the league shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. Those talks have not reignited yet but should pick up again in spring training.