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NY Mets: 3 Javier Baez alternatives to throw a lot of money at this winter

Oct 1, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Mets shortstop Javier Baez (23) in action against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Mets shortstop Javier Baez (23) in action against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Oct 7, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) hits a single against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning in game one of the 2021 ALDS at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 7, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) hits a single against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning in game one of the 2021 ALDS at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Correa

Carlos Correa is a player I really don’t like. I’m not a fan of the cheating Astros. However, I’m a Mets fan more than an Astros hater. And Carlos Correa is a fantastic player that the Mets should be targeting.

The Mets have Francisco Lindor locked up on a massive deal to play shortstop. However, Correa has said he’s willing to play third base if that’s what his future employer needed. Baez played second base as a Met but the Mets could shift Jeff McNeil to a full-time second base role while signing Correa to play third.

The biggest question mark surrounding Correa has always been his health. However, this season he played 148 games. There is definitely some risk with signing someone with an injury history but I believe Correa is worth the gamble.

Correa is one of many shortstops on the market and as a 27-year-old who appears to just be hitting his prime, he is going to be paid handsomely on the open market. He slashed .279/.366/.485 this season with 26 home runs and 92 RBI. Correa was in the 97th percentile in Max exit velocity and the 96th percentile in XBA according to baseball savant. Correa hits the ball extremely hard and with a .293 XBA, it’s very reasonable to say he got unlucky this season.

Correa has a history of coming up big in October as well. He’s slashed .273/.346/.522 with 18 home runs and 55 RBI in 73 career postseason games. The Astros have made the ALCS five straight years, including making the World Series three times. Having someone with that kind of experience in October would do wonders for this Mets team.

While his offense is elite, Correa was in the 97th percentile in outs above average. Forming a left side of the infield with Correa and Lindor would be one of the best offensively and defensively.  He is a complete player who the Mets would be fortunate to sign. It doesn’t hurt that he’s close with Lindor as well.

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