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What Losing Javier Báez To Detroit Tigers Means For Mets

The Javier Báez era is officially over in Queens. He is headed to the Detroit Tigers on a six-year deal. Find out what this means for the Mets.
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It was fun while it lasted.

Although the Mets tried to retain infielder Javier Báez, he is instead signing with the Detroit Tigers on a six-year, $140 million deal, which includes an opt-out after the second season and a limited no-trade clause allowing him to block deals to 10 teams each year.

MLB.com was the first to report that the agreement was close and on the contract figures as well. The Athletic uncovered the opt-out and limited no-trade clause.

According to SNY, the Mets offered $125 million to Báez, but he ultimately chose to take more money to play shortstop in Detroit.

The Mets still have a number of holes remaining on the pitching staff and they aren't done spending. But it does seem like they will not be making anymore big splashes this offseason via free agency.

While Báez would have been the last piece to make the Mets' offense an official juggernaut, it now appears that Jeff McNeil will get another shot at second base.

If they do not trade him after the lockout, the Mets will hope McNeil can bounce back after a poor 2021 season. Fortunately, it hasn't been too long since he was a 2019 All-Star and career .319 hitter entering the season last year.

The only additional concern is the lack of chemistry that McNeil and shortstop Francisco Lindor had as double play partners. This led to an early-season altercation, which is better known as the rat-raccoon incident.

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McNeil took issue with the Mets' new philosophy on shifting, and refused to comply, making Lindor and former manager Luis Rojas grow frustrated. He will have to get with the program if he is going to re-insert himself into the Mets' plans moving forward.

As for Báez, the Mets essentially gave up Pete Crow-Armstrong, their 2020 first-round pick, for 47 games of the 28-year-old who they acquired at the trade deadline last season.

During his time with the Mets, Báez got off to a slow start and a dust up with the fans after thumbs-down gate, but was able to flip the script in a hurry. 

From there, Báez caught fire, batting .299 with a .886 OPS, nine home runs and 22 RBIs. He also made a difference on the base-paths and had a strong bond with his good friend in Lindor. This tandem formed a strong double play combination up the middle, which is an aspect that the team will miss in 2022.

While Lindor was lobbying for Mets owner Steve Cohen to keep Báez, they couldn't get it done in the end.

The Mets have already made a flurry of big moves by signing Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha which has brought their payroll to around $270 million.

Once they landed Scherzer on Monday for three-years, $130 million [MLB record $43 million AAV], this all but closed the book on bringing back Báez.