The New York Mets have acquired IF Javier Baez and RHP Trevor Williams from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for OF Pete Crow-Armstrong.
This may be the key indicator that the Steve Cohen Mets are different. They got Francisco Lindor in the offseason and now add his former teammate from Team Puerto Rico in Baez. The headliner of this trade is a pending free agent who is an elite defender and has a .459 xwOBACON this season. He can play second or third base in New York, most likely replacing JD Davis. Baez can mash but does have problems. His 36.3 percent K rate is way too high considering his 4.2 percent walk rate. Still, he will be a massive addition for the NL East leaders. Williams is a veteran back-end starter who has struggled. His 4.36 xERA is his best since 2018.
Baez, 28, has 22 home runs with 13 stolen bases, a .292 OBP, and a .775 OPS in 361 Plate Appearances for the Cubs this season. In his MLB career, all for Chicago, Baez has hit 140 home runs with 76 stolen bases, a .303 OBP, and a .777 OPS in 3069 Plate Appearances.
Williams, 29, has a 5.06 ERA with 61 strikeouts and a 1.534 WHIP in 58.2 innings for the Cubs this season. In his MLB career for the Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, Williams has a 4.49 ERA with 477 strikeouts and a 1.357 WHIP in 593.1 innings.
The Cubs’ fire-sale will be painful for their fans. It is meant to suck. But at the very least, it is good that GM Jed Hoyer has stolen the show. In return for Baez, they get the 19th overall pick from 2020. Crow-Armstrong was MLB Pipeline’s fifth-best prospect from the Mets. The prep outfielder is highly regarded by scouts. His professional sample size is small; the 19-year-old has a 1.063 OPS in six games at Single-A.