It may have taken a while, but the Mets finally acquired shortstop/infielder Javier Báez and righty Trevor Williams from the Chicago Cubs for #5 prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong. Grade: A
There’s no way that this team would’ve let either Kris Bryant or Javier Báez go to another team. The Braves and Phillies have both made moves and they see the Mets as “vulnerable.” With the Phillies trying to improve their bullpen, they may be the biggest threat the Mets have going forward if the bullpen does hold up.
It all started with an interview Javier Báez had with Puerto Rican radio station, Mega 106.9, where he said the “only option” he would take playing second base would be with the New York Mets playing with Francisco Lindor.
Obviously this is a huge bargaining chip the Mets have; a Cubs player just openly said which team he wants to be at in free agency. This also gives the Mets confidence in the possibility that Báez will re-sign with the team once his contract is up at the end of the year.
The other piece coming to the Mets is RHP Trevor Williams, who doesn’t actually become a free agent until 2023. He’s still eligible for arbitration at the end of the year. Williams has started 12 games in his first season with the Chicago Cubs and has worked to a 5.06 ERA, a high WHIP of 1.53, but still nearly over 9 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s still a pitcher that could be very valuable to the Mets in October, even if it means out of the bullpen.
Meanwhile, the Mets are giving up centerfielder and their #5 prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong. He was their 1st round draft pick in 2020, is nineteen years old, and has an MLB ETA of 2023/2024. He’s out for the rest of the year while he undergoes shoulder surgery.
This seems like a steal for the Mets. The Cubs don’t really have elite starting pitching, but someone like Kimbrel would’ve made this a blockbuster trade. Either way, the Mets fill a need in getting Williams and make an obvious lineup improvement with Javier Báez.
Báez will likely take over shortstop until Francisco Lindor is back in mid-to-late August and move to second to help out Jeff McNeil while he’s working out his leg. He could also play third which gives the Mets obvious help on defense. Another thought is that McNeil could play outfield and Báez could run second base.