According to reports, the Tigers and shortstop Javier Baez have agreed to terms on a six-year, $140 million contract.
I don’t know if this is the best idea.
Most Tigers fans are probably upset by this news, just based on the fact that this is not Carlos Correa. Correa had obvious ties to the Tigers brass, having played for AJ Hinch in Houston. Hinch and Correa were even seen having a nice brunch together in Houston a few weeks back. This led to wild speculation that Correa would be signing signing with Detroit. To this point, he has not; but it looks like they found their shortstop in Baez.
Javier Baez is fun to watch. That is for certain. He has power. He can run. He is a great defender. He makes incredible plays look easy.
Then why am I sour on this move?
I just feel that at $23 million per year, you aren’t too far off from Correa, even if he commands $40 million per year for 10+ years, I feel you are missing out on a higher quality, more sustainable player.
Now, we don’t know the behind the scenes things. Maybe Correa wanted nothing to do with Detroit. Maybe Detroit wasn’t willing to budge on their offer. Maybe Avila and Hinch know how to unlock some hidden plate discipline out of Baez (unlikely after seven seasons in the big leagues).
At this point, I think the move should be somewhat celebrated. They won’t be stuck with $30+ million dollar 40-year old down the line, like they have in the past. Javier Baez is a tremendous upgrade to what the Tigers were running out there at short. So there is plenty to be optimistic about if you are a Tigers fan. Baez will be around during the primes of the young talent, including Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Spencer Torkleson, and Riley Greene.
Time will tell, but we will see what Javy Baez shows up on this deal. The flashy and amazing athlete? Or the player swinging at pitches three feet out of the strike zone?