The Chicago Cubs held a fire sale at the MLB trade deadline on Friday, and the New York Mets came away with shortstop Javier Baez.
The Mets acquired Baez in a deal with the Cubs, according to multiple reports. Starting pitcher Trevor Williams is also headed to New York in the trade. Outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, one of New York’s top prospects and their first-round pick last year, will go to Chicago.
Baez has been a fan favorite in Chicago for several years. He’s hitting .248 this season with 22 home runs and 65 RBI.
The Mets were said to be motivated to make a big splash at the deadline, especially with Francisco Lindor out nursing an oblique injury. Baez will take over at shortstop until Lindor returns, at which point the Mets will have one of the best middle infields in baseball.
The Baez trade is one of several the Cubs made this week. They also sent Craig Kimbrel to the cross-town rival White Sox, who now have arguably the best bullpen in baseball.
Javy Baez delivered a walk-off hit for the Chicago Cubs on Monday night, and he sure took pleasure in taunting Amir Garrett afterwards.
Garrett and Baez have history dating back to a 2019 game when the Cincinnati Reds pitcher taunted Baez after striking out the Chicago Cubs infielder. The next season, Baez stood up to Garrett after the pitcher chirped at Anthony Rizzo.
So when Baez came in to pinch hit against Garrett in the bottom of the ninth with one out and the bases loaded on Monday, the two players were already talking. But Baez got the best of things, delivering a shot to deep center field to win the game 6-5.
Baez was so busy taunting Garrett after the hit that he barely made it to first base.
You can be assured that Garrett and the Reds won’t be happy about that. You also have to wonder if the league will have anything to say to Baez after that display. Nick Castellanos was suspended for less.
Manager David Ross explained on Monday why he benched Javy Baez during his Chicago Cubs’ 4-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
Baez was on first with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning and his team down 1-0. Anthony Rizzo flew out to left. Baez should have returned to first and the inning should have continued. But he forgot how many outs there were and got doubled up. The worst part is Baez didn’t even hustle back to first after his mental error.
Baez also did not take a lead off from first earlier in Rizzo’s at-bat.
Ross explained after the game why he benched Baez. He said the Cubs couldn’t be lacking in focus.
Baez seemed to understand his benching.
That was embarrassing from Baez, and there is no excuse for it. That’s probably why he didn’t have much to say after the loss.
Baez makes some real heads up plays sometimes, but this also isn’t the first time his effort has been an issue.
Javier Baez stole a run for the Chicago Cubs on Thursday on a play that we almost certainly will not see duplicated this season and potentially beyond. As you might expect, starting pitcher Kyle Kendricks loved it.
Kendricks, who pitched seven strong innings and got the win for Chicago over the Pittsburgh Pirates, was asked about Baez’s crazy rundown play after the game. He said Cubs players loved it and don’t expect to ever see it again.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t think you’ll ever see it again,” Hendricks said, via Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “The dugout was just losing it. They couldn’t believe what they just saw with their eyes. Guys were going crazy.”
Baez hit what looked like a routine, inning-ending ground ball with two outs in the top of the third. The throw to first was slightly off-target, which pulled Pirates first baseman Will Craig off the bag. Craig went to apply the tag to Baez, but Baez began sprinting in the other direction. He got caught in a rundown and allowed a run to score.
You can see the play below:
The play actually led to two runs for the Cubs, as Baez scored on a single in the next at-bat.
We’re used to Baez applying awesome tags to runners (here’s one example), but his play on Thursday was a thing of beauty for Chicago. The Pirates? Not so much. Starting pitchers will take run support any way it comes, which is why Hendricks appreciated the play so much.
Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez showed us a perfect example on Thursday of why you should never give up on a play.
Baez was batting with two outs in the top of the third inning of his team’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He hit what appeared to be a routine ground ball to third, but it turned out to be anything but. Erik Gonzalez’s throw to first base was slightly off target and forced Will Craig off the bag. Knowing that Craig had to apply the tag, Baez stopped and began running in the other direction.
What followed was pandemonium. Baez got himself caught in a rundown long enough for a run to score. He then advanced to second on a throwing error. You can see it all unfold below:
The heads-up play actually led to two runs, as Ian Happ singled in the next at-bat and drove Baez home.
While the play was obviously embarrassing for Pittsburgh, it was made possible by Baez refusing to become an easy out. Nobody is more of a wizard with tag plays, as we saw with this insane no-look tag from Baez two years ago. Who knew he was also an expert at avoiding them?
Javy Baez is known for his amazing skills with tagging out players on the bases, and he appreciated a great tag applied by a softball player recently.
Florida State beat Memphis 3-2 on Saturday. The Tigers had runner Sam Ibison on first in the top of the third inning. She attempted to steal second and the throw went in high. FSU shortstop Josie Muffley jumped to make the catch then reached down to tag Ibison between her legs in an amazing show of athleticism.
Though Muffley applied the tag before Ibison reached the bag, Ibison actually was ruled safe. That didn’t stop the play from going viral or earning recognition from Baez.
How does that play compare to this no-look tag from Baez? Both were awesome.
Photo: Arturo Pardavila III/Flickr via cc-by-sa 2.0
Javy Baez added to his collection of awards this year, and he’s also planning to add to his collection of tattoos.
Baez learned this week that he had won his first career Gold Glove Award. The 27-year-old played almost exclusively at shortstop this season after splitting time between shortstop and second base for most of the early part of his career. He had 86 putouts and eight errors in 56 games.
Baez has several tattoos and is known for some of his baseball-themed ones. He has the MLB logo tattooed on the back of his neck.
After his Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016, Baez commemorated the win with some fresh ink.
During an interview with ESPN’s Karl Ravech about winning the Gold Glove, Ravech asked Baez whether he was going to get a tattoo to commemorate the honor.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure I will somehow and somewhere,” Baez said of the tattoo.
Baez says the only issue is finding space on his body for it.
Baez is building an impressive resume. In addition to his Gold Glove Award, Baez has won NLCS MVP, a Silver Slugger Award, and he is a two-time All-Star.
Photo: Arturo Pardavila III/Flickr via cc-by-sa 2.0
The Chicago Cubs could be preparing for an offseason of big changes, which is something Javier Baez is hoping to avoid.
Baez is entering his final year of arbitration-eligibility before he will be a free agent in 2022. He talked after his Cubs got eliminated by the Miami Marlins on Friday and said he hopes to remain with Chicago for his entire career.
“I hope I never leave this city in my whole career, but anything can happen. Hopefully I stay here my whole career. I love the fans, the dedication that they got for this team, and the other teams in the other sports for Chicago,” Baez said.
Like Baez, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber are entering their final year of arbitration before becoming eligible for free agency in 2022. The Cubs have a $16.5 million team option for Anthony Rizzo. The team already has long-term funds committed to Jason Heyward and Yu Darvish, and they have Craig Kimbrel under contract through 2022.
The Cubs will likely consider dealing a few players before free agency to see what they can get in return. Keep in mind that the Cubs have 2018 first-round pick Nico Hoerner at shortstop in case they decide to replace Baez.
Baez only batted .203/.238/.360 during the shortened season. The 27-year-old made the NL All-Star team in 2018 and 2019 and was second in NL MVP voting in 2018. He expressed issues with how the team was run in 2019 and may not be too much happier about the outcome this season.
Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez is known as one of the most impatient players in Major League Baseball. He’s never walked more than 30 times in a season, and has just 121 of them in his six-year MLB career.
Baez wants to change that this year. On Sunday, he discussed his new approach, stating that he was trying to be more patient, not leave the strike zone, and work backwards during plate appearances. Then he revealed what his teammates think of that approach.
Baez’s efforts will definitely help the Cubs, and his teammates surely know it. Still, there’s no way it isn’t weird to see one of the bigger free swingers in the game play like this.
One of the team’s best players, Baez is determined to right a lot of wrongs from an underwhelming 2019 season for the Cubs. This appears to be part of that effort.
It sounds like things are going to be a bit different for the Chicago Cubs in 2020 under new manager David Ross. One way of telling this is to hear just how honest some members of the team have been about 2019.
Javier Baez admitted Sunday that the Cubs had been too laid back at the start of games last season. He believes that approach ensured he didn’t feel ready at first pitch.
“It wasn’t something bad, but we have a lot of optional things,” Baez said, via Jesse Rogers of ESPN. “Not mandatory. Everyone kind of sat back on that, including me. I wasn’t really going out there and preparing for the game. I was getting ready during the game, which is not good.
“I got to the field, and instead of going outside and hitting BP, I would do everything inside, which is not the same. Once I go out to the field for the game, I feel like I wasn’t ready. I feel like I was getting loose during the first four innings. I should be ready and excited to get out before the first pitch, and I promise you this year is going to be like that.”
Baez added that many Cubs had taken the same approach, and that he felt that it led to the entire team being unready on some occasions.
The Cubs infielder isn’t doing it maliciously, but what he’s pointing out is likely a big reason why Joe Maddon was not brought back as manager. Maddon’s laid-back approach may have fostered a sense of complacency in recent seasons. It was exactly what the Cubs needed when he originally came in, and it helped win a World Series, but since then, it has not led to further successes. Maybe that’s why the Cubs put so much importance in how the new manager would address his team when deciding to hire David Ross as Maddon’s replacement.