The Mets Javier Baez carried the team’s offense down the stretch.
Apart from the thumbs-down controversy, Baez had himself a solid second half with the Mets. In 47 games, Baez clubbed 9 home runs and compiled a .299/.371/.515 batting line. His chemistry with childhood friend Francisco Lindor was also well-received, and the duo formed a good tandem in the middle of the infield. Unfortunately, his efforts were not enough as the team collapsed down the stretch.
Baez is like the stock market: He is prone to constant upturns and downswings, depending on his bat. When he is producing offensively, Baez can look like the best player out on the field. However, when he’s not hitting, fans are witness to a barrage of swings and misses along with hardly any walks.
Baez’s inability to get on-base consistently is a drawback to his offensive value, and it is one reason why the Mets better not think of entertaining Baez’s initial contract demands of $200 million over eight years. No one blames Baez for trying to cash in, especially because of his strong second half, but he’s living on planet Mars if he thinks he is getting that. Baez is a strikeout machine who cannot get on base consistently enough to justify the price tag he feels he is worth.
Yet, even with Baez’s deficiencies, the Mets need to entertain bringing him back, because the alternative is sticking a 39-year-old Robinson Cano back out there, and that is assuming the team even does bring him back once his suspension ends. Not making an effort to bring him back could also potentially strain relations between Francisco Lindor and the team’s front office. Considering Francisco Lindor is the face of the team now, coupled with the fact that the Mets have already dealt with various public relations nightmares this year, they certainly do not need another one.
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In a player-centric league, keeping the stars happy is essential to the health of a franchise. As a result, the Mets should make an effort to resign Javier Baez, provided the price tag isn’t $200 million.