Javy Baez to Dodgers Makes Sense, Won’t Happen
The Cubs have been in hot pursuit of pitching, particularly that of the cost-controlled variety, and have a stacked lineup that makes it hard to give everyone enough at-bats. The Dodgers have been in hot pursuit of a second baseman and appear to be willing to deal young righty Jose De Leon, who has only 17 innings of MLB experience, to get one. Hey, cool, they should work something out.
But what if that something centers on Javy Baez? I mean, if you suspend your unadulterated adoration for a moment and squint your eyes just right, it kinda makes sense.
FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron wrote about a potential Baez-for-De Leon swap, noting how each player complements the plans and proclivities of the other team.
De Leon would be perfect for the Cubs, as they’ve talked openly about their desire to acquire young controllable starting pitching, and his skillset and minor league track record make him a Chicago kind of pitcher. As a guy who could step into the rotation in 2017 and fill a hole, but also could be a core member of their pitching staff after Arrieta and Lackey leave, De Leon offers the blend of short-term and long-term value that the Cubs covet.
Andrew Friedman has regularly chosen to acquire guys with more control even if they aren’t quite as good right now, and giving up what the Twins wanted for Dozier to acquire Baez instead would fit right into that trend. Maybe they send (Chris) Taylor back as part of the deal to give the Cubs a replacement utility infielder, for instance. The Dodgers have the depth of useful role players that should be able to combine with De Leon to make a fair offer for Baez.
But in reality, there’s no better fit out there. The Cubs have one too many good middle infielders, and are short on starting pitching. The Dodgers have been emphasizing defense since Friedman got to town, and are also looking for right-handed power, which Baez certainly has. De Leon is much more valuable to the Cubs than the Dodgers, and swapping Baez is probably the best way for Chicago to get the young arm they need.
Man, I’m almost starting to think this is a good id…nah, eff that.
In the interest of full disclosure, particularly for those of you who didn’t follow the link to read the entirety of quoted text above, Cameron goes on to say that it ain’t gonna happen. For what it’s worth, Ken Rosenthal repeats the skepticism of a potential deal. Both men point to the lack of desire of the NL’s top two teams to swing a deal that would make the other better. It’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility, almost nothing is, but it’d take an incredible offer for the Cubs to part with Baez at this point.
I don’t think I need to provide you with any specifics as to exactly why that is, though I welcome you to use the search feature up there in the upper right corner of this web log to find them. Or you could just re-watch Game 1 of the NLDS. Or Game 5. Or the NLCS. Or the World Series. You get the point.
The Cubs will continue the search for pitching, though, so don’t be surprised to hear even more names being thrown around over the next few months.