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Detroit Tigers sign Javier Báez to six-year, $140 million contract

Matt Johnson
Javier Baez, Javier Báez contract, Detroit Tigers
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers have made their second big splash of the MLB offseason, signing All-Star shortstop Javier Báez to a six-year contract worth $140 million.

Báez, one of the top MLB free agents in 2021’22, received interest from more than half a dozen clubs. Acquired by the New York Mets before the MLB trade deadline, the 28-year-old infielder hit the open market after a bounce-back season.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported Monday night that Báez and the Tigers were closing in on a multi-year contract. According to Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, it’s a six-year deal worth $140 million.

  • Javier Báez stats (2021): 31 home runs, 87 RBIs, 18 stolen bases, .265/.319/.494 slash, 117 OPS+, 3.6 fWAR

Detroit already upgraded its starting rotation this offseason, signing starting pitcher Eduardo Rodríguez to a five-year contract worth $77 million. With the front office prepared to spend aggressively this winter, upgrading at shortstop was a priority.

Upgrading at the position was essential for Detroit to compete in 2022. This past season, Tigers’ shortstops posted the fourth-lowest wRC+ (72), the ninth-worst isolated power (.116) and ranked 28th in fWAR (-0.1).

While Báez strikes out a lot (33.6% strikeout rate) and rarely draws walks (5.1% walk rate), his combination of defense, speed, power and energy will be a huge boost for the Tigers.