MLB free company: Javier Báez, Detroit Tigers finalizing $140 million contract

The Detroit Tigers and free agent center infielder Javier Báez are finalizing a six-year, $140 million deal, Jon Morosi of MLB Network and Mark Feinsand of stories and CBS Sports HQ insider Jim Bowden confirms. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal adds the contract features a 10-team no-trade clause and an opt-out after the second yr.

Although a few of the group have performed different spots not too long ago, Báez entered the offseason as a part of a vaunted group of 5 star-caliber free agent shortstops together with Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story and Marcus Semien. Ought to each reported deal come to go, solely Correa and Story would stay unsigned with the CBA deadline quickly approaching. 

Báez, 28, was the final Cubs’ first-round decide (2011, ninth general) earlier than Theo Epstein took over on the North Facet and spent elements of eight seasons with the Cubs earlier than being traded to the Mets on deadline day final yr. There may be maybe no extra all-or-nothing participant within the majors. When he is on, he’ll play like an MVP within the batter’s field, on the bases and on protection. He is one of the crucial electrical and enjoyable gamers to look at. When he is struggling, he can look fairly dangerous. 

Typically talking, nevertheless, the outcomes are going to be a internet constructive. Báez posted 6.4 WAR in 2018, 6.6 in 2019 and 4.6 in 2021 (he was fairly horrible in 2020, however that may be forgiven for myriad causes). 

Final season, Báez hit .265/.319/.494 (117 OPS+) with 18 doubles, two triples, 31 homers, 87 RBI, 80 runs and 18 steals. Lining up together with his hitting, he has a plus arm with plus vary at shortstop, however he’ll get into funks the place he is throwing the ball away. He is additionally extremely adept at making tough tags. 

For the Tigers, this marks an enormous improve at a premium place over what was Niko Goodrum, Harold Castro, Willie Castro and Zack Quick final season. In accordance with’s wins above common by place, solely the Phillies and Angels obtained much less out of shortstop final season in all of baseball. 

Of observe right here: The Tigers have been believed to be one of many favorites to land Correa earlier this offseason, reuniting him with former Astros supervisor A.J. Hinch. This appears to take them out of the operating, although we have seen them get loopy earlier than. 

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