Chicago Cubs Trade Candidates: #7 – Javier Baez
Javier Baez is one of the most intriguing potential free agents in recent memory. Do you pay him for what he’s capable of being – a human highlight reel with unparalleled instincts and athleticism – or what he often is – a guy who strikes out 35 percent of the time with intense free-swinging tendencies?
Given the other shortstops in this winter’s free agent class: Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Brandon Crawford and Marcus Semien (among others), Baez faces stiff competition getting what he’s likely looking for on the open market. For the Cubs, keeping a fan favorite in the mix for years to come certainly wouldn’t hurt matters, either.
In the end, I think Baez re-signs with the club this offseason. But before we get to that point, Chicago could look to trade a few months of their shortstop for future assets. He’s recovered from a brutal showing early in the year, heating up of late – evidenced by a 1.070 OPS over the last two weeks.
Again, though, any interested suitor will have to swallow his league-leading 112 punchouts. There are plenty of teams looking for some added punch for the home stretch; Baez, as we’ve seen time and time again, is certainly capable of adding that – along with Gold Glove-caliber defense up the middle.