Cubs have to ask whether or not they’re OK with Javier Baez’s inconsistency
Javier Baez has rebounded from a brutal start at the plate, raising his OPS+ to a 122 mark on the year, thanks largely in part to a strong showing in the power department (10 home runs).
Still, he’s struck out in north of 36 percent of his plate appearances, while drawing walks just 2.6 percent of the time. There’s been a lot of good and a lot of bad for the Chicago infielder – and his work over the last two years has seen him fall in stature compared with the rest of this winter’s loaded shortstop free agent class.
A team could trade for Kris Bryant and be fairly certain he’ll make them better. With Baez, though, that’s far less of a sure thing given his inconsistencies, both at the dish and in the field. He’s made nine errors at shortstop this year, the second-most among all players in the Senior Circuit.
Baez is certainly the most interesting free agent-to-be on this roster. When he puts it all together, he’s capable of being one of the best (and most entertaining) players in all of baseball. But he’s only really done that once – and his erratic swing-and-miss tendencies have proven costly over the years.
That’s not to say Chicago and the two-time All-Star won’t work out a deal. It’s totally possible Baez mans shortstop for the Cubs for years to come. But in such a scenario, Hoyer will have to accept the good with the bad, the lows with the highs because, at the end of the day, that’s who Baez is as a player at this point.