Tigers make big splash at shortstop, but it’s not Carlos Correa

Detroit Tigers, MLB Free Agency

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The Detroit Tigers have signed former Chicago Cubs and New York Mets infielder Javy Baez, who is expected to play shortstop in MoTown.

Baez slid all over the infield in Queens, in part because the Mets already had a high-caliber shortstop in $300 million man Francisco Lindor.

Per numerous reports, the Tigers are inking Baez.

While Detroit was rightly connected to Carlos Correa, the Tigers weren’t willing to meet his price point this Winter. So, Al Avila went for the next-best thing, signing Baez to a long-term deal. The Tigers desperately needed a shortstop, considering it’s a glaring need in their infield, and Baez fills that void and brings a big name to Detroit.

Baez last made an All-Star team in 2019, but saw a resurgence of sorts after being dealt to the Mets last season, hitting near .300, slashing .299/.371/.515 in 47 games and 186 at-bats.

Tigers sign Javy Baez: Did Detroit go cheap at shortstop?

It’s tough to accuse the Tigers of a cheap decision at shortstop when the perceived backup plan is Baez, who has made two All-Star teams, won a Gold Glove as recently as 2020 and finished second in MVP voting in 2019. Baez can be a legit face of the lineup as early as next season, especially with Miguel Cabrera fading into retirement, ever so slowly.

Who will sign Carlos Correa now?

Correa was linked to the Tigers, as they’re managed by former Astros World Series-winning skipper A.J. Hinch. Now that Detroit is out, Correa’s market is dwindling. The Yankees and Astros are two of the more obvious fits remaining.

Could Detroit signing Baez bring Correa’s price down? Those three teams, and likely more owners, sure hope so.

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