It turns out that Trevor Williams DID develop some trade value this year. That is certainly not the focus here, but hey, it buys me a few seconds before I have to say the other part.
The Cubs are trading Javy Báez to the New York Mets, where he’ll play alongside his good friend, Francisco Lindor, and try to win a championship together. That softens the blow ever so slightly, but let’s not mince words: this is a tremendous emotional blow for me, it turns out. You can check out the BN Twitter feed for more on that if you really need it right now. Here, I’m gonna get into the trade, itself.
According to Bob Nightengale, the Cubs are at least getting a very good return in the trade, outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong. The 19-year-old first round pick from last year’s draft (19th overall) is recovering from May shoulder surgery (non-throwing arm), at which time he was considered a top three or four prospect in the Mets’ system. The lefty center fielder rates out as having a solid overall bat (typical questions of 19-year-old prospects), and a well-above-average glove. The updated FG rankings – after his surgery – still had him as the 7th ranked prospect in the Mets’ system, behind breakout infielder Mark Vientos. Great runner. Great athlete. And the bat could be good overall. The surgery is really the question. I’m not immediately finding the timeline, but with any shoulder surgery, you kinda assume it’s season-ending. Maybe he can do some instructional ball in the fall?
Without the injury, though, Crow-Armstrong would never, ever be available in a rental trade like this. So the risk you’re accepting is that (1) he’ll recover fully, and (2) he won’t be irreversibly harmed by missing so much development time. It’s a good risk for the Cubs. I’m typing this through gritted teeth and blurry eyes, but yes, I can concede, this is a very good baseball trade. I like this one a lot.
Well, if you had to trade Báez, that is. That’s a question I suppose we’ll have to take up in the days ahead, as well as the question of whether the Cubs could persuade Báez to re-sign after the season. Or if the Cubs even want that. Maybe the plan now is to go with Nick Madrigal at second base and Nico Hoerner at shortstop.