One Reports Says ‘Real Chance’ Javy Báez Signs Extension with Mets Early in Offseason
Boy, the story sure has shifted when it comes to Javier Báez and the Mets. Only a month into his tenure in Queens, Javy had already become persona non grata for directing a thumbs-down gesture at fans who had taken to booing him and his new teammates for the crime of, well, doing what the Mets do. By which I mean they were underachieving.
There was also the matter of Javy’s high strikeout rate, which Mets fans had not previously known about because their awareness doesn’t extend beyond New York. In any case, Báez took responsibility for the gesture and came out looking like the kind of leader the organization wants to keep around.
That’s why, as Andy Martino reports for SNY, “there is a real chance that Baez [sic] and the Mets will agree early in the offseason on a contract extension that would install him at second base for years to come.” It’s far from a sure thing, but Martino indicates that the former Cub would be inclined to stay if the Mets “make a serious offer early.”
What a wild concept, huh?
Of course, there are still several moving parts in Queens that make this matter a little more complicated than just making an offer. The Mets’ GM search doesn’t appear to be going very well at all as they’re being turned down by everyone on their list, including a guy who’d prefer to keep running car dealerships. They’re also without a manager after moving on from Luis Rojas immediately after the regular season concluded.
Javy can love owner Steve Cohen’s vision for the future of the franchise, but it might help to have leadership in place to carry out those big plans. Then there’s the matter of free agency, which could net the former MVP contender a much bigger contract if teams get into a bidding war for his services. While Carlos Correa and Corey Seager are ahead of Javy among shortstops, that only eliminates two teams from among a larger group looking for dynamic difference-makers.
Could one of those teams actually be the Cubs? After all, I did write about how Correa would make sense even under the notion that Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins are going to spend intelligently and lean more heavily on development. Javy is probably going to come significantly cheaper and is already beloved in Chicago.
Except he was also traded away and you almost never see guys come back in those circumstances.
Though I have trouble putting much stock in Martino’s report, I do believe there’s a very strong pull for Javy to be in New York with good friend Francisco Lindor. And if the Mets are willing to pony up to make that happen, it makes sense to skip the drawn-out free agency process and just get a deal done.