The New York Mets need to trade for Javier Baez, and they need to do it now. It’s as easy as that.
The Mets and Chicago Cubs are currently both in the same spot as franchises: Both teams have futures that look promising for now but are not ready to be great just yet. The difference, however, is that the Mets are loaded with young pitching, while the Cubs’ big prospects tend to be hitters.
The weakest position for the Mets is, and has been for a few years, shortstop. On the other hand, the Cubs are chock-full at the position. With both teams looking toward the future, now is the perfect time for the Mets and Cubs to make a deal that centers on one of the Mets’ young arms and a Cubs shortstop.
The Cubs’ major league roster currently starts 24-year-old Starlin Castro at shortstop, who’s batting .274 with 11 homers and 53 RBI so far this year. The Cubs also have seen flashes of excitement from second baseman/shortstop Arismendy Alcantara, the 22-year-old speedster who’s spent just a short while in MLB.
In addition to these two, the No. 3-ranked Cubs prospect, according to Keith Law of ESPN Insider, is another shortstop by the name of Javier Baez.
At just 21 years old, Baez is currently playing for the Cubs’ Triple-A team. Baez is a talented hitter who in 88 games for the Iowa Cubs has 16 home runs and 61 RBI while batting .252. He also has proved to have decent speed, as shown by his 16 stolen bases so far this season.
While it seems like Baez isn’t necessarily someone the Cubs would be interested in moving, you must take into account that they just recently traded for Addison Russell, Keith Law’s No. 3 prospect in all of baseball. The 20-year-old Russell was sent to Chicago in a deal with the Oakland A’s in exchange for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, two pitchers having very successful years.
With four promising, young shortstops in their system, it is only logical to assume the Cubs move at least one of them. Sandy Alderson, are you paying attention?
The Mets need to jump on this opportunity before any other team swoops in. Not only is Baez a perfect fit for them, but the Amazin’ Mets are the exact team the Cubs should want to deal with. With a glut of strong young arms in the minor leagues, the Mets have the goods to make a deal like this work.
Considering the Cubs’ surplus of shortstops, one would have to believe that now is the perfect time to trade for Baez and possibly even get him at a lower price than before. If I were the Mets, I would see if the Cubs were interested in a combination of Rafael Montero, Kevin Plawecki, Wilmer Flores and Steven Matz in exchange for Javier Baez.
Montero is an intriguing right-handed hurler who at 23 would become the Cubs’ best pitching prospect. Plawecki is a minor league catcher who could also be on the move, considering he is stuck behind Travis d’Arnaud on the depth chart. Flores is a good hitter with a lot of potential, and Matz is a southpaw who has looked great in the minor league system when healthy.
Who wins the trade? (Javier Baez for Rafael Montero, Kevin Plawecki, Wilmer Flores and Steven Matz)
The Cubs need pitching and a catcher, and the Mets need a shortstop. Would this combination work for both teams, or would one of the teams want more?
I feel this is a strong trade for both sides. The Mets would add a gifted young shortstop in Baez, and though they would lose a potential stud pitcher in Montero, with a future rotation of Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee and Noah Syndergaard (maybe Jacob deGrom too?), I wouldn’t be all that worried about it.
The Mets need to go for Baez now. So what will it take to get him? Is the aforementioned deal enough, or are Cubs fans about to destroy me in the comments section?