With just over one hour to spare in Friday’s trade deadline, the Mets have acquired shortstop Javier Báez and pitcher Trevor Williams from the Chicago Cubs, according to Mark Feinsand. The deal is pending medicals, and the Mets are sending outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong to the Cubs in return.
Báez was drafted ninth overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. The 28-year-old has since been named to two NL All Star teams, finished 2nd in MVP voting in 2018, and was awarded the Silver Slugger that year. He was also named the 2016 NLCS co-MVP. The shortstop is hitting .248/.292/.484 with 22 home runs, a 105 wRC+, and a 2.0 fWAR in 91 games for Chicago. He will start out as New York’s shorstop, before shifting over to second base when Francisco Lindor, whom he is close with, returns from the injured list. Báez is a free agent after season’s end.
The Mets also addressed their pitching need by acquiring Williams in the deal. The 29-year-old right-hander played for the Pittsburgh Pirates over the first five years of his career before signing with the Cubs over the winter. This year, he owns a 5.06 ERA, a 4.52 FIP, a 1.53 WHIP, and 61 strikeouts in 58.2 innings.
The move should help improve the team’s offense while also giving the team a strong up-the-middle presence once Lindor arrives. Báez’s 22 home runs would be second on the Mets right now, behind only Pete Alonso. Meanwhile, the inclusion of Williams gives them another starting pitcher to add into the fold, in case of injury. The addition of Williams and Rich Hill, along with the return of Carlos Carrasco and the eventual return of Jacob deGrom, should help fortify the team’s starting pitching depth.