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Some Birds Weren't Meant To Be Caged: Javy Baez Turned Down The Cubs* To Play In Detroit

*last year, allegedly

I could do 10,000 words on this topic right now without getting up to take a piss and I swear it wouldn't be enough. I won't do that to you guys but there's just so much to say about Javy Baez and the Cubs and the state of free agency and MLB contracts. This is a loaded topic top to bottom and I'll do my best to get some thoughts organized. Also worth plugging that I'm sitting down with WSD in an hour to do a baseball-only Red Line Radio covering hot stove bullshit. That should be out around noon and I'll get into a lot of bigger picture items with MLB stuff but most certainly Baez as well. Please subscribe so I can feel good about myself. 

Selfishness aside, I'll break the Javy news down into a couple categories. But first let me broadly address my emotions that should set the tone here: I'm happy if Javy Baez is happy. The rare instance of young-love-gone-bad where you sincerely want to see Javy happy the rest of his life. I have loved him dearly and I'll always love him. But sometimes it's best for everyone to move on and Javy's time in Chicago is definitely one of those times. 

Shutterstock Images.

I would personally and selfishly love to see him play and retire in Chicago. The reality is that's just not good for business as I tried to explain yesterday in my 2022 Cubs offseason manifesto blog: 

Let's add some particulars now that Javy's signed with the Tigers

- Last offseason the Cubs offered Javy an 8-year extension for $160-170M and he turned it down allegedly. How does this make me feel? If the Cubs didn't completely fall apart last year then I would be singing a different tune. If Rizzo signed the $75M/5-year extension last year then I'd be even more devastated. All of these numbers need to be taken in context. Maybe it would have made sense last year but not with new faces in town and so much uncertainty. Not when you're trying to move on from the recent glory days. Even so, $20M for Javy is a pretty good price. He would be deadly with Madrigal up the middle. But then you think about the minor league system and it would be a buzz kill to lock down the middle of the infield at the MLB level for 5+ years when you're not good enough to win 80 games. That puts you in a weird spot where you have to focus on corner-position prospects and now we're really splitting hairs. The Rangers will most certainly run into this problem down the road and now we're really getting off topic. 

Point is, based on circumstance and thinking like a person that wants to build a long-term wagon again, I just don't like Javy coming back on a big deal. Violates all my principles. Go read that blog to know what I mean. 

- I absolutely love this move for the Tigers. They're the complete opposite of the Cubs. They have a loaded farm system with guys that are primed to be breakout superstars. They're not proven yet but it's either a little early this year getting free agents or possibly too late next. It's a fair number for an All Star caliber player with All World talent. When he's good, there's really nobody better. Teammates, fans, coaches and just about everybody but front office guys love Javy. He has the perfect attitude for Torkelson and Riley Greene to come up around. He sets a great tone and there's a fucking wagon of talent coming in 2023 and 2024 for the Tigers. They have a homegrown monster pitching staff coming. You can spend now for Javy then go big again next year in the outfield or wherever.

- The Cubs just signed Yan Gomes. I'll make this a separate blog. But as I'm writing this, the Cubs make a move for Yan Gomes and it just resonates even deeper and further that this is a white flag year at Wrigley. Imagine giving Javy a bag of cash alongside the rest of these free agents. That would be hilariously stupid. The Cubs made the right move and so did the Tigers. It's okay to be happy for everybody.