Dodgers Rumors: MLB Insider Thinks LA Should Call the Tigers About a Javier Baez Trade
The Dodgers shortstop position has been a struggle this season. Not including Mookie Betts, who has appeared in four games at shortstop this season, Dodger shortstops have gone just 10-for-76 this season, good for a batting average of .132. That’s not very good.
Those shortstops include Chris Taylor, Miguel Rojas and Luke Williams, and none have shown any signs of being a great long-term solution this year. So, unless Betts emerges as this team’s true consistent shortstop, the Dodgers may want to look for an external option.
The obvious solution would be White Sox SS Tim Anderson. Chicago is struggling early in the year, and he’s someone many Dodger fans would love to have. However, he would cost a lot in terms of a return.
If the Dodgers didn’t want to give up any of the farm, and wanted to try to improve their production at shortstop — emphasis on try — Jim Bowden of The Athletic has an idea. I don’t know if it’s a good one or bad one, but it’s definitely an idea. He thinks the Dodgers should inquire about Javier Baez, and see if the Detroit Tigers would be interested in paying for a majority of his salary to get him off their team.
“Don’t laugh, but I also might call the Tigers about Javier Báez, to see how much of his remaining salary they’d be willing to eat.”
Baez is struggling this year, and has been struggling ever since he signed that massive six-year, $140 million deal with the Tigers. He technically has an opt-out at the end of this season, but he would be pretty foolish to opt out of his contract if he continues to play as poorly as he’s been. So, when he opts back in, he’ll have another four years and $98 million left on his deal.
That is obviously not something the Dodgers will want to pay, especially considering how poorly he’s playing. However, if the Tigers just want to move on from him, and would be okay eating a good amount of his salary, a move could potentially work.
The Dodgers would be trying to revitalize another career, but this one could be easier than some of their other reclamation projects.
At his best, Baez hit 34 home runs, 40 doubles and 111 RBIs as an All-Star in 2018. He finished second in NL MVP voting that season.
Baez is a two-time All-Star, a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove Award winner, but hasn’t experienced much success over the last few seasons. However, he is still just 30 years old, and someone who could probably benefit from a change of scenery. In 2021, between the Cubs and Mets, he hit 31 home runs and drove in 87 RBIs.
Would the Dodgers be interested in taking that chance and making a long-term commitment to Baez with Gavin Lux set to return next season? Probably not. But it is at least an interesting idea, and a phone call Andrew Friedman and co. should make just to see how much of Baez’s salary the Tigers are willing to eat to get rid of Baez.
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I’m all for that idea, considering the Dodgers success in the field of revitalizing careers. But this depends on how much of his contract that tigers are willing to pay.
I’m all for that idea, considering the Dodgers success in the field of revitalizing careers. But this depends on how much of his contract that tigers are willing to pay. The Dodgers should offer a trade, maybe Luke Williams for Baez, let’s see how desperate the Tigers are.
I love the idea, Baez is clutch, has won a WS and last time he had a change of scenery with the Mets he did very well (and NY has a little added pressure). Maybe add Matt Boyd, and we could give them some combination of Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux and some prospects.
Rhu, maybe prospects but not Lux or even Taylor. Baez not actually at peak of career.