There's a "real chance" two-time All-Star Javier Baez agrees to a contract with the New York Mets early in the offseason "that would install him at second base for years to come," according to SNY's Andy Martino.
"Baez is also said to be a believer in [Steven] Cohen's vision of the Mets as a big-market behemoth, hungry for a championship within a few years," Martino adds.
Baez recently told Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago that he "would love to stay in New York" if the Mets make the offer and make something happen.
The 28-year-old was traded to the Mets before the July 30 deadline by the Chicago Cubs, with who he spent eight seasons. He helped Chicago win a World Series in 2016, won a Silver Slugger Award in 2018 and a Gold Glove in 2020. He also finished second in National League MVP voting in 2018.
Even though it was short, Baez had a solid first stint with the Mets. He slashed .299/.371/.515 with nine home runs, 22 RBI and a career-best .886 OPS in 47 games.
The native of Puerto Rico primarily served as New York's second baseman, with Francisco Lindor manning shortstop.
Lindor, who signed a 10-year, $341 million deal with the Mets in April, has lobbied for Cohen to re-sign Baez in recent weeks.
"I know Javy does fit in what we're trying to accomplish here," Lindor told Newsday. "He's a winner. He plays the game as hard as he can day in and day out. He gives it his best. He's my boy, too, so that helps. But at the end of the day, I know what he's capable of doing. We've all seen it."
It's unclear what kind of deal Baez is searching for. He reportedly turned down a $180 million extension offer from the Cubs before the 2020 season, per ESPN.
While the Mets are in for a slew of changes after another disappointing season in which they missed the postseason for the fifth straight year, keeping Baez should be a priority for Cohen as the veteran has shown he can be a difference-maker in the lineup.
If Baez hits the open market, he'll join an elite class of free-agent shortstops, including Trevor Story, Carlos Correa and Corey Seager. According to Martino, the New York Yankees are expected to be a suitor for Baez if he becomes a free agent.