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Should the Yankees Sign Javier Báez?

New York is expected to add a shortstop this offseason. Here's why Javier Báez should be near the top of their wish list this winter.

As the Yankees look to upgrade at the shortstop position this offseason, one name they have been linked to early on is Javier Báez.

According to SNY’s Andy Martino, New York already made a strong play for Báez at the trade deadline, but ultimately lost out to the Mets who acquired his services for 2020 first-round pick Pete Crow-Armstrong.

Now, Báez is set to become a free agent and while there is still a possibility he will return to the Mets, the Yankees are expected to be suitors, per Martino.

With Gleyber Torres shifting back to second base, this could pave the way for Báez to come in and become the Yankees’ shortstop of the future.

And although the Yankees might be cautious to back up the brinks truck given Báez’s track record of being a wild swinger who lacks plate discipline, he is a dynamic player who excels in multiple facets of the game.

MORE: Yankees Made 'Aggressive' Push to Trade For Javier Báez at Trade Deadline

Yes, Báez has been known to strike out a ton and the Yankees already have players who swing and miss too frequently in Joey Gallo (213, MLB lead) and Giancarlo Stanton (157). But that doesn’t change the fact that Báez has a dangerous bat, is a slick fielder and an electric base runner as well.

Not only is Báez a game-changer, but he also showed major improvement in his approach after joining the Mets, increasing his walk-rate and on-base percentage while showing more patience offensively.


So, if Báez is truly a changed man, signing him to a long-term deal could pay off dividends. Especially in the Yankees' case, as they are in desperate need of a shortstop on defense and shakeup to their lineup.

Overall, Báez finished up his 2021 campaign with a .265/.319/.494 slash line, a .813 OPS, 31 home runs and 87 RBIs in 138 games between the Cubs and Mets.

And in the 47 games he spent with the Mets, he was superb, slashing .299/.371/.515 with a .886 OPS, nine homers, 25 RBIs and 15 walks.

READ: Which Path Will the Yankees Pick at Shortstop?

For his career, Báez has a slash line of .264/.307/.477 with a .783 OPS, 149 homers and 465 RBIs. He has also struck out 953 times in 3,040 total at-bats.

The Yankees can either take a risk on the likes of Báez or the injury prone left-handed hitting Corey Seager to solve their shortstop problem, or they can go after more of a sure thing in familiar foe Carlos Correa.

If they miss out on Correa, Báez might be the next best candidate available. However, the Yankees might find themselves in a bidding war if the Mets are truly destined to retain the 28-year-old Báez.

At this point, the Yankees should be in on Báez and at least look at him as their fallback option if they are unable to land Correa.

Follow Pat Ragazzo on Twitter (@ragazzoreport). Be sure to bookmark Inside The Pinstripes and check back daily for news, analysis and more.