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Before the MLB lockout, Javier Baez inked a lucrative deal with the Detroit Tigers. Here’s why Javy signed with Detroit over all other contenders.
On Nov. 27, it was considered unlikely that the Detroit Tigers would “make a market-busting offer right now” for free market shortstop Javier Baez. Conversely, it seemed unlikely that Baez would “rush into a lower-than-expected deal this early in the winter.”
These expectations were off to some extent, as the Tigers offered Carlos Correa a ten-year, $275 million deal before Baez landed a six-year, $140 million contract on Dec. 1. It meant that Baez was signed away early in the winter, but he did get the contract he desired, according to a new report.
Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic shared on why the Tigers were able to entice Baez over his former Cubs and other MLB teams, and it primarily had to do with “the six years they offered on his $140 million contract.”
The reason why Javy Baez signed with the Detroit Tigers
According to The Athletic’s sources, Baez was “hoping for a bigger payday on the free agent market”, which was made clear by all of the expectations analysts predicted for Baez. To further this point, Baez even turned down an eight-year, $168 million offer from the Cubs in 2020.
Baez accepted his six-year Tigers contract on his 29th birthday, but his age apparently gave other teams pause in how much and how long they wanted to pay him. The expected decline in the decade that looms ahead made teams reluctant to give Baez a lucrative, longer-term contract.
“Noted flaws in his game and concern over whether his free-swinging ways will allow him to maintain production into his 30s had many teams reluctant to commit to him on a longer-term deal,” Stavenhagen reported. “The Tigers capitalized on the opportunity and seem to believe in Báez and his supreme talents.”
Another reason this deal works out for all parties is that Baez has the option to opt out of his contract in two years. If Baez plays up his strengths in Detroit, he could negotiate for a better contract there or elsewhere in his early thirties. But for now, Baez is taken care of until he’s 35, allowing El Mago to keep the magic alive in his ideal contract.