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Mets adding Javy Baez in deal with Cubs at MLB trade deadline

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NEW YORK — All along, it seemed the Mets were headed toward making a splash at the trade deadline.

They delivered as they added a talented and accomplished infielder.

The Mets on Friday announced they acquired shortstop Javier Báez, right-handed starter Trevor Williams and cash considerations from the Cubs for minor-league outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, who was their fifth-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of what he does – as an offensive player, as a defensive player, as a baserunner, all those different things that he does on the field," Mets manager Luis Rojas said before the trade became official. "He’s a very exciting player. I’ve always been a fan from afar."

As the Mets headed toward the 4 p.m. deadline on Friday, they needed both starting pitching and an impact bat. In this deal, they attempted to address both areas as they worked with the Cubs, who were working through their firesale this week.

The deadline has come and gone, and the Mets' haul is this: Báez, Williams and left-hander Rich Hill (whom the team acquired last week).

Javier Baez was NL MVP runner-up in 2018.
Javier Baez was NL MVP runner-up in 2018.

Baéz, who won a World Series with the Cubs in 2016, is a two-time All-Star with a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award. Since debuting in 2014, he's been one of the game's top shortstops.

Báez, a free agent after this season, might have been the rental player that made the most sense for the Mets. He can fill in for the injured Francisco Lindor. When Lindor returns, Báez can play second base. His versatility allows the Mets many options with his usage.

Báez is batting .248 with a .775 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) and 22 home runs this season. That OPS ranks 10th in baseball among shortstops with at least 100 plate appearances this season, while he's second among shortstops in homers.

However, Báez's 36.3 percent strikeout rate is the 10th-highest mark for batters with at least 100 plate appearances.

He's also well-known for his glove. Báez, the master of the flashy tag, certainly won't hurt the Mets' infield defense. Per FanGraphs' Defensive Runs Saved metric, Báez has saved his team four runs at shortstop to this point in the season. The metrics say Báez is a valuable second baseman, too.

"He's a guy that can go 0-for-4 and beat you with his glove, or if he gets on base, beats you on the basepaths," Rojas said. "He's a guy that's just blessed with a lot of tools to play this game."

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Javy Baez to Mets in MLB trade deadline deal with Cubs