The Detroit Tigers have reportedly decided to break the bank for star shortstop Javier Baez. According to ESPN’s Buster Onley, the two sides agreed to a six-year deal that comes with a value of $140 million.
Baez will get an opt-out after the 2023 season as part of the agreement while also receiving a limited no-trade clause. He will be able to veto a trade to 10 teams in each season.
Baez started the 2021 season with the Chicago Cubs, where he played since entering the majors in 2014. The two sides tried to hammer out an extension but never managed to get on the same page. This prompted the Cubs to trade the 28-year-old to the New York Mets in July, receiving prospect outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong in exchange.
With the Mets, Baez put together a solid run that saw him hit .299 with 22 RBIs and nine home runs in 47 games. Still, this wasn’t enough for the New York team to make a more aggressive bid to retain the two-time All-Star, which allowed the Tigers to swoop in and get their shortstop of the future.
Despite giving Baez the second-richest contract in franchise history, the Tigers should feel great about this deal. They fill not only the position of need with one of the best available players on the free-agent market but also fast-track their rebuilding process. Also, they now have a star that will get fans into their ballpark.
Baez has a career .264 batting average with 149 homers and 465 RBIs. He was an All-Star twice while also winning the NLCS MVP honors in 2016.