Javier Baez, Tigers Reportedly Agree to 6-Year, $140 Million Contract

Adam WellsNovember 30, 2021

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 28:  Javier Baez #23 of the New York Mets in action against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on September 28, 2021 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Marlins 2-1 in nine innings. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers appear ready to make their move in the American League Central, with two-time All-Star Javier Baez reportedly agreeing to a deal with the club. 

Per MLB Network's Jon Heyman, Baez will sign with the Tigers on a six-year, $140 million contract. 

MLB Network's Jon Morosi first reported Baez was "close" to signing with the Tigers. 

Detroit finished last season with a respectable 77-85 record, three games behind the Cleveland Guardians for second place in the AL Central. 

The Tigers made an early splash in free agency when they reportedly signed left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million contract Nov. 16. 

This seemed like an offseason for Detroit to make bold moves as the franchise's rebuild began to show progress in 2021. Center fielder Akil Baddoo and starting pitchers Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal flashed some of their potential last season. 

Top prospects Spencer Torkelson (first base) and Riley Greene (outfielder) reached Triple-A in 2021 and should debut in the big leagues next summer. 

Adding Baez will give the Tigers an elite defensive player who can start at second base, shortstop or third base.

Since becoming a full-time player in 2016, Baez ranks third among all National League shortstops in defensive runs saved (49) with a minimum of 2,500 innings played, per FanGraphs

Baez's bat has been more volatile throughout his career, but he has been an above-average hitter. The 28-year-old has a .264/.307/.477 slash line in 862 games between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets. 

After being traded to the Mets on July 30, Baez turned his season around. He hit .299/.371/.515 with nine homers in 167 at-bats over 47 games. 

The Tigers can slot Baez into the middle of their order, where his power and speed will play well in the big outfield at Comerica Park.