Javier Baez Signing New Mets Contract in Free Agency Is Possible, Sandy Alderson Says

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 29, 2021

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 26: Javier Baez #23 of the New York Mets up to bat against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on September 26, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Brewers defeated the Mets 8-4. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
John Fisher/Getty Images

The New York Mets remain open to re-signing Javier Baez this coming offseason.

Team president Sandy Alderson seemed to raise some doubt as to whether the two-time All-Star will return to the Big Apple but said the organization won't eliminate the idea entirely:


Sandy Alderson talks about if the Mets can realistically re-sign Javy Báez<br><br>"Is it possible? Yes. Is it realistic? Maybe...But to say "No, there's absolutely no way that Javy Báez can be part of the Mets next year", no, I wouldn't be prepared to say that at this point" <a href="https://t.co/JJl8EIis91">pic.twitter.com/JJl8EIis91</a>

The odds of the 28-year-old staying with the Mets in 2022 appeared to be slim in late August when he was one of the players openly antagonizing fans by giving them a thumbs-down gesture after big plays. The celebration drew a public rebuke from Alderson.

New York Post Sports @nypostsports

The back page: Mets players declare 'thumb' war with fans <a href="https://t.co/SGs9wSY2dH">https://t.co/SGs9wSY2dH</a> <a href="https://t.co/S9aPll71Di">pic.twitter.com/S9aPll71Di</a>

However, Baez has been on a tear in September. He's slugging .607 with five home runs and 14 RBI in 25 games. Though he couldn't help the Mets avoid missing the playoffs, he's providing the franchise with more reasons to keep him around.

Baez said last week that nobody from the Mets had approached him yet for substantial discussions about re-signing but that teammate Francisco Lindor "wants to make sure they make an offer if it’s possible," per NBC Sports Chicago's Gordon Wittenmyer

Mets manager Luis Rojas is in favor of seeing the veteran infielder return.

"I think everyone in the room thinks that this team is going to be better with him in the future,” he said. “But there are other people that are probably going to have to make those decisions, including Javy."

Many expected the change in power from the Wilpon family to Steven Cohen would see the Mets flex their financial muscle more. Francisco Lindor signed a 10-year, $341 million extension, and New York had the third-biggest payroll ($195.4 million) on Opening Day, per Cot's Baseball Contracts

For his investment so far, Cohen has watched Lindor slog through the worst year of his career, and the team will finish third in its own division.

That might cause Cohen to strongly consider how high he's willing to go to meet Baez's asking price in free agency.