Covering all of the bases on the free-agent shortstop market for this offseason takes some work, but the Detroit Tigers are going to do their due diligence. Expect them to take some time on this and likely “miss out” on an option or two by mulling out a decision and weighing out options.
When it comes to signing a shortstop this offseason, the Detroit Tigers need to consider bringing in Javier Báez to fill the role. The signs point to them going all-in on signing Carlos Correa, but is that really going to happen?
It seems like the Houston Astros are going to be heavily invested in keeping him in Houston. Their first offer is on the table at five years for $160 million, and I would not be surprised to see that value go up behind closed doors in the last seconds of negotiations. Not to mention the New York Yankees being buyers once again.
But, looking at Báez, there is still reason to be skeptical. The New York Mets traded for Báez this season, and it seems like Steve Cohen is going to do whatever he can to ensure he keeps his middle infield intact.
There are certainly going to be bumps in the road when it comes to bringing in a big-name shortstop this offseason, which is why all options need to be considered. Báez is a quality option; the question remains if the cost will be worth it for the Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers cannot count out Javier Báez this offseason.
In 2021, Báez played in a total of 138 games between his time with the Chicago Cubs and the Mets organization. He totaled 547 plate appearances and would slash .265/.319/.494 with 31 home runs and 87 RBI.
It should be noted that Báez did strike out 184 times during the year that led the league. Báez could certainly spend some time ironing out his plate discipline as quite the free swinger. He may not be the most attractive option on the big-name market, but he is someone to consider.
Báez is also versatile defensively and can move around the infield. While the Tigers need a shortstop, options like Báez and Marcus Semien allow them to bring in someone who can confidently shift around positionally if needed.
It may not be the easiest “sell” in the world for Báez, but he would get a chance to work towards another postseason appearance and hopefully a World Series appearance in the coming years. On the flip side, Báez sells the organization as being a capable option for the team at shortstop (mostly) while being a piece to build around for the next few years.
The Tigers will have to make their own decisions and compete with other teams, so Báez may not be the perfect option, but as long as they fill gaps in the roster, it should all work out ahead of the 2022 season.