The Chicago Cubs are sellers at the trade deadline after an impressive losing streak in June-July that saw them fall from first place in the NL Central to nine games behind first place. Now, many Cubs stars are on the trading block, including shortstop Javier Baez.
Here are some potential trade destinations for Baez.
First things first, the Athletics like to keep things cheap. That is the entire conceit of their franchise and the business model was proven to work as the Tampa Bay Rays took it all the way to the World Series in the shortened 2020 season.
Baez is relatively affordable for the remainder of this season but will likely ask for a sizeable contract in the offseason. That almost guarantees he will be a rental for the A’s. This begs the question; what does this conservative franchise deem affordable in a trade for less than half a season of Baez’s services?
He fits the team perfectly, even if they just traded for Starling Marte. The strikeouts are a problem but his potential to change the course of a game with his power. Acquiring Baez for what will assuredly be a hefty asking price from the Cubs, would be a move to tell the fans they are ready to capitalize on the team’s success.
New York Mets
The Mets are being discussed as a potential suitor for Kris Bryant, rather than Baez. But there is a chance the Mets miss out on Bryant, still leaving a hole in their World Series expectations.
Francisco Lindor is out for an indefinite amount of time and that production needs to be replaced, or even improved upon. Once he does return a Baez-Lindor combo could be used in a multitude of ways, including swapping one piece out for the other, rather than stacking the lineup with both at the same time.
Again, the Mets would much rather have Bryant, especially considering Lindor has slumped a bit and Baez can do the same at a moment’s notice. But Baez is a fantastic consolation prize and the Mets definitely have some intriguing pieces to give the Cubbies in return.
New York Yankees
Calling a spade a spade, the Yankees love power. They are willing to gamble on players that have a huge ceiling and a relatively low floor (see: Giancarlo Stanton).
Yankee Stadium has incredibly short corners. While most of Javy’s home runs are to straightaway center because he swings so hard, he definitely could train his swings to get more fly balls to the corner. That would be very welcome in the Bronx due to the Yankees’ struggling offense.
This is the way New York builds, they make trades and send prospects to other teams. Baez is a defensive wizard who has the kind of skill set that makes Yankees fans salivate. The prospect pool is a bit questionable, but there are surely some pieces the Cubs want in return. Plus, with their deep pockets they could pay Baez after his contract expires if both teams are game.
This one is a bit more farfetched, but it could work.
Featured Image courtesy of Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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