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NY Mets: A Javier Baez trade makes sense at the trade deadline

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 17: Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs watches his two-run home run during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on June 17, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Cubs won 2-0. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 17: Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs watches his two-run home run during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on June 17, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Cubs won 2-0. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
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Let’s face it, the New York Mets offense needs a spark. As we make our way through the middle of July, the Mets front office can no longer wait around patiently for last year’s league-leading offense to come around as we approach the stretch run for the playoffs. Combine the Mets lackluster offense with the loss of star shortstop Francisco Lindor, there should now be a full-blown alarm going off in the offices of General Manager Zack Scott and Team President Sandy Alderson’s offices.

In light of Lindor’s recent loss due to an oblique injury, ESPN reporter Buster Olney made an interesting suggestion that the Mets should pursue Chicago Cubs star shortstop Javy Baez at Trade Deadline with the uncertainty of Lindor’s return now hanging in the balance. Olney states on Twitter, “If Lindor’s injury is relatively serious — those oblique injuries can take 4-to-6 weeks — then Javier Baez could be a perfect match for the Mets. He could hold down shortstop initially, and then move to second or third later, in keeping with his career-long versatility.”

On paper, the move makes sense for the Mets, as Baez could play second base or third base when Lindor eventually returns this season, while also providing Gold Glove defense up the middle for a Mets ballclub whose defense has played a large role in their success in 2021 than it has in previous years. The real question becomes whether the Cubs plan to ultimately trade Baez, as it appears they are currently exploring a potential extension for the impending free-agent shortstop before considering shipping him out of the North Side of Chicago on July 30th.

Baez, who is currently considered one of the most exciting players in baseball, would not only provide a spark to a Mets offense that seems to be stuck in the mud, but he would also have the chance to reunite with Francisco Lindor up the middle after both put on a magical defensive display at the last World Baseball Classic with Puerto Rican national team.

A potential trade for Javier Baez could make sense for the Mets as they look to fill the vacancy at shortstop due to Francisco Lindor’s injury.

For a Mets team that also ranks among the bottom of the league in terms of home runs this season, they would also be adding a significant power threat to their lineup as Baez has 21 home runs and 59 RBI’s on the season, which would put him at the top of both categories for the Amazins’. While there is also plenty of swing and miss to Baez game if you have a chance to add a player of Baez caliber to an offense that has largely struggled through July, especially with Baez hitting .321/.391/.607 over his last 15 games.

Looking back at the last time the Mets brought in a legitimate offensive force at the Trade Deadline was when the Mets acquired Yoenis Cespedes at the 2015 Trade Deadline. At the time Cespedes had 18 home runs and 61 RBI’s which is eerily similar to Baez’s current numbers.
However, Cespedes had a higher batting average, on-base percentage, and OPS (.293/.323/.829) than Baez has currently (.244/.288/.780). Cespedes slugging percentage of .506 was just a tad bit higher than Baez’s current slugging percentage of .492 as well.

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Overall it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Mets to do as much as they can to acquire another bat this month. The price has to be right for the front office to make a move on a player such as Kris Bryant or Javy Baez based on their impending free agency this winter. But if Baez is the move, he certainly could provide some additional swagger, Gold Glove-caliber defense, and power to a starting lineup looking to play meaningful games this fall.

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