Sure Sounds Like Javy Báez Would Like to Stay with the Mets and Francisco Lindor

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Sure Sounds Like Javy Báez Would Like to Stay with the Mets and Francisco Lindor

Chicago Cubs

A strong friendship, alone, is not going to be the SOLE reason a guy signs somewhere in his first, and probably biggest, crack at free agency. But we’re all of us humans, and if you had the chance to play alongside one of your best friends for years to come, that might be one heck of a tiebreaker if the money was close.

To that end, an interview with Javy Báez over at NBCSC via Gordon Wittenmyer, in which Báez drops a SERIOUS friendship comp on his and Lindor’s partnership:

And despite a highly publicized flap last month involving a thumbs-down gesture in response to Mets fans booing the team, Báez sounds like a guy who wants to play for those same fans, put roots down in New York and create his own East Coast version of Bryzzo with Lindor ….

“I think me and Lindor are closer than KB and Rizzo,” Báez said. “It’s a really special thing here. … I would love to stay here and play with him.”

Lindáez? Báezdor? Javisco?

Might not have quite the same marketing-quality ring to it.

But when he and Lindor are at second and short, there might not be a better middle infield in the majors.

“There’s not one,” he said.

“And we haven’t been playing really well as a middle infield; we can do much better,” Báez added. “But we’ve been here like two months. If it’s going to be a whole year, or 10 years. we obviously are going to get those adjustments to click and be [in sync].”

Báez went on to note the obligatory desire to stay with the Mets (but it reads as sincere), and said that Lindor has been lobbying Mets owner Steve Cohen for the Mets to re-sign Báez.

(It’s definitely Lindáez, by the way.)

There probably aren’t too many places where Báez would affirmatively want to play second base instead of shortstop, but I believe him when he talks about wanting to be up the middle with Lindor for years to come. He has certainly gotten very comfortable with the Mets, even after that stupid thumbs down BS.

In 42 games with the Mets, Báez is hitting .309/.380/.544 (152 wRC+), and posting stellar (for him) strikeout and walk rates (27.7% and 7.2%, respectively). Whether that’s a small sample artifact or reflective of something that actually helped in a new organization, it does make you think the Mets might be all the more willing to retain Báez.

To that end, though, the price tag is expected to be very high. Would the Mets be willing to lock up half a billion dollars in their middle infield? It would certainly be fun for Mets fans (and baseball fans, in a lot of ways) to see those two playing together for years, and maybe Steve Cohen will show that he doesn’t much care about the money after a year of tumult.

As for the Cubs, obviously there’s still a connection there, and Báez talks to Wittenmyer about that relationship and the possibilities for the future. It falls into the don’t-rule-it-out-entirely category for me, but I still tend to think the Cubs would move on Báez only later in the offseason if the robust market just isn’t there for him.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.