When the Detroit Tigers signed Javy Baez this offseason, they expected they were getting an All-Star caliber shortstop who would lead their impressive crop of young players to contention. They handed the 29-year-old a six-year, $140 million deal and expected a commensurate return. They haven’t gotten it. A few months in and the Baez deal already looks like a massive bust.
While the Tigers have won five in a row, they are 35-47 on the season. They qualify as one of MLB’s biggest disappointments of the 2022 season. They weren’t expected to be a World Series contender, but Detroit was a sexy, outside pick for a playoff spot if the franchise’s young stars acclimated quickly to the big leagues. With Miguel Cabrera’s career winding down, that group needed a leader. Many thought Carlos Correa could have been that guy, and given his connection to Detroit manager A.J. Hinch, it seemed like a perfect fit. But there was no deal to be had between the two sides, and the Tigers turned to Baez.
In 69 games this season, Baez is hitting .211, with a dismal .249 on-base percentage. Perhaps worse, he’s only slugging .366 with eight home runs. If he was not hitting the ball or getting on base, at least he could be having an impact when he did make contact. Instead he’s not doing any of the three. His OPS of .615 ranks 146th in baseball.