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NY Mets News: Omar Minaya predicts the next Javier Baez contract

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 14: Javier Baez #23 of the New York Mets reacts after his game tying ninth inning home run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on September 14, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 14: Javier Baez #23 of the New York Mets reacts after his game tying ninth inning home run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on September 14, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Former New York Mets General Manager Omar Minaya thinks he has an idea of what it will take for the team retain Javier Baez next season and beyond. As a former big league GM, I have to think he has a nice pulse on the league even if he is watching from a little further away these days.

Minaya has predicted the cost to re-sign Baez would be north of $150 million and last for five to seven years. It’s not exactly a groundbreaking prediction as it covers plenty of possibilities.

The question I have based on this is whether or not the Mets are willing to hand Baez the second-largest contract in franchise history. The first belongs to his buddy, Francisco Lindor.

Will the Mets make Javier Baez the second richest player in franchise history?

I know there’s inflation, increase in taxes, yadda yadda yadda, and everything else to consider when we compare contracts these days to those in the past. Many of the greatest Mets of all-time would have only dreamed of taking home $10 million in a career. Now, it’s the total you pay your eight-hole hitter.

Minaya’s prediction is as dead-on accurate as it is completely off. I don’t think anyone ever truly knows what the upcoming winter’s biggest deals will look like. It’s not as simple as following trends because the one thing that never stays the course is the emotion of people.

There are times at this moment that we view as perennial contenders that will decide to take the offseason off from spending big. Then there are some surprising clubs with something else in mind. Like an RKO from Randy Orton, they’ll come from out of nowhere and decide it’s time to pay a guy like Baez the big bucks.

The $150 million over five to seven years is a fair starting point. It essentially means Baez will get $20-30 million per year. It’s a fair expectation for a Gold Glove infielder with power.

Other than the unforeseen, an element that could get in the way of this is a flooded market. Baez isn’t the only shortstop out there this winter. Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, and Trevor Story are also set to hit the open market. Each should be in play for the big spenders. The question then becomes: how many big spenders will there be?

Baez’s time as the Mets second baseman could give him great leverage if he remains open to playing the position with his future team. An organization with shortstop locked up could pivot and sign Baez to play second base even if it’s for one year.

We all knew from the moment Baez arrived that keeping him beyond 2021 would bruise the payroll. Fortunately, it’s not our money and the richest owner in baseball is the one who would sign the paychecks; probably via some auto-signature device or a stamp. Can you really imagine Steve Cohen giving out an autograph on every paycheck?

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Baez is finishing the year strong. Whether it’s the Mets or one of the other 29 teams out there, he’s going to be the one reaching for the bill at the end of the meal plenty.

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