Even after his trade to the New York Mets, Javy Báez still says he’d be happy to re-up with the Cubs after the season.
“To be honest, I would love to,” Báez said, per NBC Sports Chicago. “But I don’t know what will happen this offseason with all these moves and the plan that this organization has …. Obviously, I’m grateful for everything they’ve done for me. I’ve never been in another organization, but I’m pretty sure this is one of the best ones, if not the best one. I’m grateful for everything they’ve done for me and my family.”
It’s nice to hear, even if you know there may not be a serious pursuit after the season. Let’s not completely close any doors just yet, you know? You never quite know how the shortstop market will play out and what opportunities – for each side – will arise.
There are so many obvious caveats with Báez’s comments, though. And I want to throw out a big one you might not think of immediately: isn’t it possible that Báez will simply be so happy playing with Francisco Lindor and the Mets that he’ll be willing to re-sign there to play at second base? That’s one of the big risks of trading a guy at the deadline that you think you might want to re-sign: he’ll get to experience *both* a general sense of “oh, this is what it’s like to not be with my former team … this is do-able,” and then also a specific sense of “oh, these guys are awesome and they like me and maybe I should just stay here now.”
As we saw with Lindor, himself, it’s not like new Mets owner Steve Cohen is shy about immediately plunking down massive dollars to extend a player for whom his group just traded. Imagine the opportunities for your organization over the years if you had a long-term pairing of Lindor and Báez up the middle? (Actually, Cubs fans, don’t imagine it right now. My heart can’t take it.)
So, for me, as with all midseason trades, I will not be expecting a re-signing after the season. It’s just so rare for a variety of reasons, and an Anthony Rizzo re-signing seems slightly more plausible. I’m betting all three of Rizzo, Báez, and Kris Bryant won’t be back. Still, you like to hear that it’s possible one or more could return, even if only to keep certain low-probably options on the table.