Javy Báez's appearance on trade deadline options list will open Tigers fans' eyes

Milwaukee Brewers v Detroit Tigers
Milwaukee Brewers v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

Javier Báez's six-year, $140 million contract is a very expensive mistake that the Tigers are never going to live down. It was sort of a questionable thing to do from the beginning — Báez's last full year in Chicago, 2020, indicated that he might be losing his touch a little and might not warrant quite that much money — but at the time it was refreshing to see the Tigers actually take a leap of faith and spend some money for the first time since they extended Miguel Cabrera in 2008.

We all know how that's turned out, though. Some leaps of faith end with a face plant into the mud, which is exactly where Báez has been stuck for the now two and a half years he's been in Detroit. His always-low OBPs have dropped every year, and a player who used to be able to churn out 30+ homer seasons can now barely crack 15.

It feels like a well-known fact that the only way the Tigers could get rid of Báez would be to eat the rest of his contract and release him, which is what makes The Athletic's newest trade deadline preview so intriguing. A grand total of 91 names are mentioned as possible movers on July 30 and, shockingly Báez is one of those names (subscription required).

The Athletic shockingly lists Javy Báez as a player who could be moved at the trade deadline

Authors Aaron Gleeman and Eno Sarris do clarify that Báez as well as George Springer, Jeff McNeil, and Andrew Benintendi are included "because they’ve declined into role-player status (if that), and their teams would jump at the chance to unload their under-water contracts, but don’t expect a contender to take them on without being heavily incentivized via prospect capital or cash considerations."

Which is...a bummer. Way to tease us with the (nearly impossible) idea that Báez might actually be a target for some shortstop-needy team. This only serves to reemphasize that Báez isn't going anywhere unless the Tigers finally choose to do the most drastic possible thing and cut him loose. They're loathe to spend more than is strictly necessary or give away top prospects, so it feels highly unlikely that they would throw in a lot of either just to get Báez out of Detroit. (On top of the fact that they would also inevitably have to maintain responsibility for some amount of the money left on his contract).

No, Javy Báez will be a Tiger until the end of 2027, likely the end of his career, unless Detroit actually decides to do the brave thing and say that the free out he represents in the lineup is worse for the team than losing $73 million.