Although Javier Báez's time with the Mets got off to a rocky start, he turned things around after thumbs-down gate to raise his stock before entering free agency.
In 47 games following the Mets' deadline trade with the Chicago Cubs, Báez slashed .299/.371/.515 with an .886 OPS, nine home runs and 22 RBIs in New York.
He also displayed a new-found approach, showing improved discipline at the plate, which also increased his value for this upcoming winter.
Now, according to SNY's Andy Martino, there is a realistic chance that Báez and the Mets could agree to a contract extension early in the offseason to keep him as the second baseman in Queens for the foreseeable future.
While Báez could still test the open market among a superstar class of free agent shortstops in Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Corey Seager, if the Mets make a serious offer early on, he may be inclined to stick around.
Another factor pulling in the Mets' favor of retaining Báez is his close relationship with double play partner Francisco Lindor. And as Martino noted, this duo uplifted each other's performances late in the season with extensive behind the scenes work in the batting cages after they became teammates.
In his only full month playing alongside Báez, Lindor smashed nine home runs and drove in 25 RBIs with a .933 OPS in September.
Lindor also has the ear of team owner Steve Cohen and already admitted he will be lobbying for the Mets to re-sign his good friend.
On an additional note, Báez is a believer in Cohen's vision to transform the Mets into a big-market powerhouse that chases after championships year in and out.
And Báez's strong finish to the year left both he and the Mets on great terms heading into the offseason.
So, maybe Báez has seen enough to potentially make a decision to stay with the Mets prior to them hiring a president of baseball operations.
However, he is expected to draw a contract between $150-200 million, which rarely results in a short negotiation.
Regardless, Báez feels the Mets are close to winning and if they give him a feasible offer, he could stick around in New York for many years to come.