How good are the Chicago Cubs’ Addison Russell and Javier Baez? When everyone wants what you have, that’s a good thing.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo give the Chicago Cubs have arguably one of the best corner infield tandems in all of baseball. Willson Contreras is one of the top young up and coming players in the game behind the plate.
On the infield, there are still two spots that need filling, and it feels like both Addison Russell and Javier Baez get lost in the shuffle and in the eyes of the average baseball fan. Russell and Baez have given the Cubs one of the best double-play duos in the game.
However, over the past couple of offseasons, the Cubs have been in trade negotiations with multiple teams, and it feels like each team Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer talk two want either Baez or Russell as the centerpiece of any trade.
What if it was possible?
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
Now, the Cubs will hang on to both of these incredibly talented infielders unless the right deal comes along, and if that trade will fill a glaring hole for multiple years.
Just for fun lets pretend that the right deal did come around, who should the Cubs deal away?
My answer, without a doubt, is Russell.
Firstly, Baez is the better fielder. In 181 games at second base, Baez has only committed just 16 errors.
I know what you probably think if the Cubs did trade Russell. Baez would become the everyday shortstop.
Range and arm to handle it
Plus, everybody knows that Baez has an absolute cannon for an arm, so the move to short, and making the slightly more extended throw to first base won’t be too big of an adjustment.
As for Russell defensive numbers in 310 games at short? He has committed 30 mishaps.
I know like Baez, Russell has been an excellent defender. But I see Baez as a Gold Glove winner in the not too distant future. I see Russell as a solid defender. But good enough to make all of the necessary plays, and the settler play every once in a while. Baez will make all the required plays along with the majority of the close ones because of his big arm.
Who has the advantage?
At the plate, Baez has a .255 average, 47 home runs, and 168 RBI. Now granted because of Baez’s massive swings have led to 371 strikeouts
On the flip side, Russell has a .240 average, 46 home runs, 192 RBI. Like Baez, Russell has also struggled with the strikeouts. Russell has struck out 375 times
Truth be told, when it comes to hitting it could honestly it could be considered a tie. In my eyes, I see Baez with a little more power, but Russell does have a decent amount of power with good gap to gap power, so both men have there own set of skill when it comes to batting.
So why Baez over Russell over Baez?
Since it’s a push when it comes to the hitting skills, it comes back to the defensive abilities, and to me despite the stats being the same Baez makes plays and tags that he has no business making and his cannon arm is what makes it possible.
Let me be 100% clear, I don’t expect either one of these potential All-Stars to be moved anytime soon, but as in life things can change at the drop of a hat, so things like this do bear thinking about.