It unsurprisingly became official yesterday that Javier Báez had opted into the remaining years of his contract with the Detroit Tigers. Javy is clearly is not a stupid person. Had he tested the free-agent market, a team probably would’ve ended up paying him about as much as you would spend on a fucking candy bar. I knew he wouldn’t opt out. I had made peace with it a long time ago, but now the Tigers are stuck in a sexless, loveless marriage with one of the worst hitters in the entire sport.
I will look at Javier Báez as if he's Samir from "Office Space." "What exactly is it that you do here?" The power numbers are completely shot. He has the worst feel for the strike zone of any hitter in baseball. At the risk of sounding like a real curmudgeon, I think his defensive metrics are wildly overrated, and the older I get, the less I trust advanced analytics when it comes to defensive players. I understand that Javy can make spectacular plays now and then. I've also seen this guy consistently spike-throws to first base like he's Rob Gronkowski scoring a touchdown. I may find his metrics to be overrated, but I do acknowledge that he is an above-average defender. He needs to get better in that area. Provide some value at shortstop for this team. I feel like that's the best I can hope for right now.
Is Javier Báez the best shortstop in the Tigers organization? Jesus Christ, I guess so. I'm wiping my brow in frustration with one hand as I write that. The farm system is pretty weak regarding shortstops right now. But I am getting excited about the Detroit Tigers. That will lead to a problem. Because I don't think Javier Báez is good at all. Even if he does return to form defensively next season and plays at a Gold Glove caliber level, it doesn't matter. He is an automatic out in that lineup. That's okay when you're on a bad team. But I think the Tigers are getting better. I think they're going to have a good team next year, and if you thought that Javy drove me crazy before, I'm going to blow a fucking gasket if this guy causes them a playoff spot.
I don't see Baez lasting all four years. I just don't think the production will be there. But as long as he is on the roster, he will remain the last vestige of a horrific era of Detroit Tiger baseball. Who the fuck thought this was a good idea? You could've had Seager, you could've had Correa, you could've had Semien, and you went with a guy who is getting paid so much money to be inarguably the worst hitter in baseball. I'll put my head on the pillow at night and pray for a turnaround, but I'm not expecting miracles. ￼