Without a doubt the Puerto Rican Javier Baez has been a star in the infielder of the Mets from New York since his change; the best player offensively in the second half of the MLB 2021.
Since he arrived at the Mets By the July 30 trade deadline, Baez has had an impact on almost every facet of the game. And after a slow start, mixed with a brief season at IL due to back spasms, Baez’s bat has been red hot, cutting .303 / .377 / .538 with a .914 OPS, nine home runs and 20 RBIs in 41 games.
Despite being known as a free swinger, Javier Báez has shown better discipline at the plate, hitting 12 walks as Met, compared to 15 for the Cubs in 91 games this season.
With the 2021 season coming to a close, Baez will become a free agent this winter, and the Mets may not let him out the door.
In fact, Baez made it pretty clear that he’s also willing to stay in New York for the long haul.
“When I was in Chicago I never thought they were going to change me. I never thought I was with another organization, ”said Báez. “And after I came here, things have been different, but at the same time good.
“I feel like I needed this to get to know myself a little more and work a little harder.”
An additional aspect that has helped Baez feel more comfortable in his new situation comes from the close friendship he has with his double-game partner, Francisco Lindor.
“Obviously, Frankie wants me to stay,” Baez said. “He wants to make sure they make an offer if possible, and see what happens in the offseason.”
According to Báez, Lindor has been pushing for him to stay. Lindor and Mets owner Steve Cohen have built a close relationship and it’s no secret at this point that Lindor has his ear. He also played a role in getting the Mets to trade for Baez initially on the deadline as well.
Baez is one of a host of talented free agent shortstop on the market this winter. And like he said earlier, he will only consider signing somewhere to play second base if it means he can play alongside Lindor.
Well, this dream has been a reality since Lindor returned from IL in late August. And with Baez’s decision looming, this short-term partnership has the potential to evolve into a long-term relationship, as Lindor’s 10-year, $ 341 million contract will begin next season.
“I think Lindor and I are closer than KB [Kris Bryant] and [Anthony] Rizzo, ”Baez said of his two former Cubs teammates. “It is something really special here. … I would love to stay here and play with [Lindor] “.
Having Baez and Lindor gives the Mets one of the best middle infields in baseball. And Baez certainly believes they are number one in the game.
“And we haven’t been playing very well as a midfielder; We can do much better, ”added Báez. “But we have been here like two months. If it’s going to be a whole year, or 10 years. obviously we’re going to get those settings to click and be [sincronizados] “.
Although it has been speculated that the Cubs might want to bring Baez back, the 28-year-old understands his current situation of being in a rebuild.
“It depends on your plan,” he said. “Right now I think they have to rebuild and restart with a new system and new players.”
While Baez is aware of the reality that he will have many options on the open market, he loves his time in New York, as well as playing with Lindor.
Most importantly, he also believes he can win here, as this current Mets team reminds him of the Cubs championship team he was on before winning the 2016 World Series.
“This team wants to win as badly as we did in ’16,” said Baez. “I promise you, they are going to win. They are going to win soon, whether I am here or not. “