Cubs Rumors: Javier Baez, New York Mets eyeing an early offseason deal
Look. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see the Chicago Cubs ponying up the $300+ million it’s going to take to lock up Carlos Correa or Corey Seager this winter. But someone in that $100-150 million range – perhaps old friend Javier Baez? That I can see happening far more easily.
Unfortunately, if the latest Cubs rumors coming out of New York are to believed, Baez and the New York Mets might be poised to quash any hope on that front with a long-term deal early in the offseason. Here’s the latest from SNY in the Big Apple:
"On the day of thumbgate, it was a near-certainty that Baez would soon be a former Met. Now, according to league sources, there is a real chance that Baez and the Mets will agree early in the offseason on a contract extension that would install him at second base for years to come."
The report goes on to say that Baez and team owner Steve Cohen had several conversations at the end of the season and there’s a level of mutual respect on multiple fronts. But while that may be the case, it’s not as clear cut a scenario as it looks on the surface. After all, nothing can ever be straightforward when it comes to the Mets.
New York is a chaotic organization in flux. The front office, in search of a new leader, is in shambles – and the Mets already struck out on their three top choices: Billy Beane, Theo Epstein and David Stearns. There’s plenty of hesitation around the league among executives who could potentially be candidates due to the circus that’s surrounded the club for years now.
Sandy Alderson is (at least for now) still the top dog in the team’s baseball operations department. But would he and Cohen make a decision of this magnitude prior to tapping a new GM or president of baseball operations? That remains to be seen.
Chicago Cubs: We could soon know if a Javier Baez reunion is in the cards
If a deal doesn’t come to fruition, Baez will have plenty of suitors in free agents, including the crosstown Yankees and (potentially) the Cubs themselves. Although Chicago has the tandem of Nico Hoerner and Nick Madrigal, Jed Hoyer is still doing his homework on potential middle infield upgrades this winter.
The question the Cubs (and the Mets, for that matter) need to ask themselves is pretty simple: is Baez capable of leveling off his swing-and-miss tendencies and working his way on base more? And, if not, are you – as an organization – ready to accept him for what he can be, both for better and worse?
Following his trade to New York, Baez put up an OPS more than 100 points better than what he turned in prior to the deadline in Chicago. He’s a former MVP runner-up and, just last season, was one of the worst statistical offensive players in all of baseball.
There’s no easy answer here. But, at least right now, it looks like El Mago might be stealing the show in the Big Apple for years to come.