The Phillies could poach Javier Báez from the Mets
Stealing Javy Báez from their division rivals would be a coup for the Phillies, who have not had much of an upper hand in the NL East over the last decade; their second-place finish was due in large part to the Mets’ collapse in the second half.
The Mets acquired Báez from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline, and he hit .299/.371/.515 with a .886 OPS and 50 hits over 47 games after the trade. His extra-base production reduced after the trade, however; he hit nine doubles and nine home runs with the Mets after hitting nine doubles and 22 home runs in 91 games with the Cubs.
Báez also led the National League with 184 total strikeouts this season, but perhaps new Phillies hitting coach Kevin Long could help him with that the way he helped the shortstop’s former Cubs teammate, Kyle Schwarber.
Báez was paid $11.65 million in 2021, but is projected to have an AAV market value of $24 million in free agency. At 28 years old, he’s looking for the lucrative long-term contract that will put him somewhere for most, if not all of the remainder of his career.