Mets Want To Keep Baez, Yankees Will Keep Boone

MLB Rumors: Mets Want To Keep Baez, Yankees Will Keep Boone

It has been a busy week for New York baseball as the Mets are pushing to re-sign second baseman Javy Baez even before free agency starts, while the Yankees have decided in perhaps a minor surprise to bring back manager Aaron Boone despite the disappointing end to the 2021 season.

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Analysis MLB : Should Mets bring Javier Baez back?

Baez was acquired from the Chicago Cubs at the Trade Deadline for prospects – his good buddy is fellow Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor, the Mets’ star shortstop. While Baez had some ups and downs with New York, he base safely in a career-high 23 straight games from September 5-30 and had a 13-game hitting streak from September 14-29, second-longest of his career. Baez was one of just four MLB players with at least 31 homers, 87 RBI and 18 steals this season. Fernando Tatís Jr., Shohei Ohtani and José Ramírez were the others. In September, Baez hit .347 with five home runs and 14 RBI.

Baez could hit the open market and take his place among the class of elite free agent shortstops that includes Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Corey Seager. If he does, the Yankees are expected to be a crosstown suitor, because they were one of the most aggressive teams in pursuit of Baez at this year’s trade deadline. However, the Mets are being aggressive in trying to keep Baez off the market.

Said Mets president Sandy Alderson late in the season about the potential return of Baez:

“Is it possible? Yes. Is it realistic? Maybe. It’s hard for me to put odds on it. Does Javy want to be here, did he enjoy his stay, what could be expected from him over the next several years. There’s a lot of things that go into any free agent decision,” he said.

Between the Cubs and Mets, Baez hit 31 home runs in 2021, surpassing the 30-home run mark for the second time in his career. He’s hit 23 or more home runs in each of the past four full seasons (he hit eight during the shortened 2020 season). Baez has the track record of being a catalyst in the middle of a lineup. With Lindor and Pete Alonso already in the mix, the Mets would have a strong foundation with those three in the heart of the order.

One factor the Mets need to consider when discussing the possibility of re-signing Baez or adding another expensive infielder is that they have three infield prospects who are getting close to the majors.

The Mets are still looking for a manager to replace Luis Rojas, but the crosstown Yankees won’t be in the managerial market as the team decided to re-sign him to a three-year contract. The extension follows a 92-70 regular season campaign in which the Yankees qualified for postseason play — their fourth time doing so in as many years with Boone at the helm — but fell to the Red Sox in the American League Wild Card Game.

“We have a person and manager in Aaron Boone who possesses the baseball acumen and widespread respect in our clubhouse to continue to guide us forward,” said managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner. “As a team and as an organization, we must grow, evolve and improve. We need to get better. Period.”

New York was MLB’s streakiest team this season, with winning runs of 13, 7, 6 and two of 5 games, but also skids of 7, 5 and four of 4. Boone’s new contract extends beyond the contract of general manager Brian Cashman, who is signed through the 2022 season.

The Yankees did decline to renew the contracts of hitting coach Marcus Thames, assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere and third-base coach Phil Nevin, one of Boone’s close friends. Their departure, and Cashman’s acknowledgment that the roster was flawed, point to an offseason in which there could be plenty of player personnel changes. One move that’s all but a lock to happen is signing a shortstop to replace Gleyber Torres, who was moved to second base on Sept. 13. Torres will stay put at second.

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