03 Aug GETTING TO KNOW NEW YORK METS SHORTSTOP JAVY BAEZ
Name: Ednel Javier Báez
Nickname: El Mago
Born: December 1, 1992 (age 28) in Bayamón, Puerto Rico
MLB Debut: August 5, 2014, for the Chicago Cubs
2021 Salary: Signed last year a 1 year / $11,650,000 contract with the Chicago Cubs. Baez is owed about $4.25 million for the remainder of this season, and the Cubs are picking up a portion of that amount.
Last Friday, the New York Mets acquired shortstop Javier Báez, right-handed starter Trevor Williams and cash considerations from the Cubs for minor-league outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, who was their fifth-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline. Baéz, who won a World Series with the Cubs in 2016, is a two-time All-Star with a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award. Since debuting in 2014, he’s been one of the game’s top shortstops. When Báez was acquired, he was batting .248 with a .775 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) and 22 home runs this season. That OPS ranks 10th in baseball among shortstops with at least 100 plate appearances this season, while he’s second among shortstops in homers. However, Báez’s 36.3 percent strikeout rate is the 10th-highest mark for batters with at least 100 plate appearances. Baez will play predominantly shortstop until his longtime friend, Francisco Lindor, returns from his oblique injury — potentially by mid-to-late August — at which point he could move around the infield.
How does it feel to leave Chicago & join the New York Mets?
After coming up with the Cubs and winning a World Series in 2016, leaving Chicago has been very emotional for me, but I’m ready to move on and help my new team chase another championship in New York.
What do you hear about New York fans?
I know New York’s got great fans. I’ve been seeing it from the other side. Hopefully they’re really excited to have me because I’m really excited to help the team and bring my energy here.
Why do you think the Mets wanted you on their team right now?
I play the same way and I’m the same guy every day. I try to bring that energy to the team, to the clubhouse. There’s not much to say, I just gotta be me, go out there and compete and play hard.
Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?
Definitely, Manny Ramirez.
Who is the toughest pitcher you ever faced?
If you weren’t a baseball player, what would you want to do for a living?
I think I would try to be a professional basketball player.
At the end of this season you will be a free agent. Would you like to play for the New York Mets after this year?
We’ll see how everything goes. I’m obviously trying to be as close as I can and learn from the guys, and see what happens these two months. I know we’re in first place and hopefully we go deep in the playoffs, and see what happens next year.