Detroit Tigers: Javier Baez contract could become worst in franchise history

Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays
Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages

Javier Baez has become a detriment to the Detroit Tigers

The Javier Baez saga continues to get worse. Detroit Tigers fans already didn't care for him, but Thursday night's game against the Blue Jays felt like the straw that broke that camel's back.

First he didn't hustle out of the box when he hit a double that he thought was a home run, then he was doubled off at third base after forgetting how many outs there were. A.J. Hinch proceeded to remove him from the game to send a message to a team that has to lead the league in baserunning gaffes.

It would be one thing if Baez was off to a good start, or had a good season last year. But neither of those things are true. He was a below average hitter last season with a wRC+ of 90, and he's off to a horrid start this season. As of this writing, he's slashing .122/.182/.146 with one extra base hit in 45 plate appearances. That's good for a -9 wRC+. I had no idea wRC+ could go into the negatives until I saw his. That's honestly impressive.

In the field, he still has the range to get to balls deep in the hole, but his throwing arm continues to be erratic. He's botched routine throws to second base. He might be the most frustrating player I've ever seen as a Tigers fan.

He can't hit, he's inconsistent in the field, and has mental lapses on the basepaths. The best part? He's in year two of a six-year deal. He's 30 years old. It's only going to get worse from here.

His plate approach has always screamed, "sharp decline." His aggressive playstyle was always indicative of an early and fast decline in production. Anybody with a brain could have told you that the second half of this contract was going to be brutal. I don't think anyone expected him to be this bad from the start.

This has the potential to be the worst contract in franchise history, and that's saying something for this team. Miggy, Jordan Zimmerman, Mike Aviles, and Juan Gonzalez are just a few of the bad contracts this team has handed out over the years. Baez has a real chance of being worse than all of those.

If he opt-outs after this season, I would be completely shocked. He's owed $100 million over the next four years. Again, it's hard to see him getting any better.

Nobody knows what's going through Javy's head right now. He's a hated player on a bad team, which probably doesn't help his headspace. I think it would be beneficial for him if A.J. Hinch gave him a couple days off just to clear his head. Give him a fresh start. It can't hurt at this point.

Next. Detroit Tigers: Hard to stay positive with such an abysmal start to 2023. dark