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Free Agent Poll: Javier Báez

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Miami Marlins v New York Mets - Game One Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

There still isn’t much for Blue Jays news. The baseball fan in me says, ‘be patient. It doesn’t matter when the moves are made’. The blogger is ‘please, please do something we can talk about, I’m bored’.

The Mets made some moves. They signed Starling Marte to a four-year, $78 million contract. And they picked up Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha. So maybe we won’t see any whining tweets from their owner for a couple of days.

There are rumours that the Jays have been talking to Javier Báez, so let’s poll him.

Keith Law has Báez 9th on his list. Ben Clemens has him further back at 12th.

Báez turns 29 on December 1st. He’s played in the MLB for eight seasons, and the last four have been very good. He’s won two Gold Gloves at short. He was second in MVP voting in 2018. This season he hit 31 home runs and had a .265/.319/.494 batting line. He does strike out a lot, an NL leading 184 times last year, but then he had a .352 BABIP this year, which is in line with his career numbers. He might swing and miss a lot, but when he connects, he makes good contact.

He’s been terrific, defensively, at both short and second base. In a best of all world thing, I’d like him at short and ask Bo to play second, but the other way around would work too.

Keith Law said:

If someone could get Báez to develop his eye at the plate the way Austin Riley did this past year, Javy would win an MVP award. He’d be unstoppable at the plate with just a modicum of selectivity, but that’s not how he’s wired. He did set a career high in unintentional walks this year … with 26. In 138 games. He has 80 bat speed, and enormous raw power, along with plus speed, plus defense at either middle-infield spot, great game awareness (that doesn’t extend to, you know, balls and strikes), and maybe the best tag skill I’ve ever seen. His peak season of .290/.326/.554 is a good estimate of his upside even now, assuming nothing else changes about his game, but I bet someone goes after him in the belief that they can get him to show some patience or discipline at the plate and make him a .320/.360/.575 guy. The good news is he’s a 4-5 win player even without it, thanks to his defense and positional value.

Ben:

You should want your team to sign Javier Báez. You might not know this to be the case; maybe you think you’re set in the middle infield, or don’t think his numbers are sustainable, or think his plate discipline will catch up to him soon. He struck out more than a third of the time this year and had one of the worst chase rates in baseball; it’s not hard to convince yourself that he might have some downside risk.

And yet, you should want your team to sign Báez. Baseball is a game, and I can’t think of many players who have more fun playing it or produce more memorable moments. Dazzling defensive plays, genius-level baseball IQ, wild swings at shoelace-high pitches that nonetheless produce home runs; Báez does it all, and he does it with an infectious grin. You’re going to watch a ton of your team’s games; those games will be more enjoyable with Báez playing in them.

Ben feels he will get a four-year contract at $20 million a year, for a total of $80 million. I think the team that gets him will go to five years.

Poll

Should the Blue Jays sign Javier Báez if the price is 4 years at $20 million per year?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Yes, absolutely
    (444 votes)
  • 18%
    Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
    (173 votes)
  • 20%
    Probably not, but I wouldn’t hate it
    (201 votes)
  • 14%
    No, absolutely not
    (140 votes)
958 votes total Vote Now