We're back with more wild trade proposals! On this week's episode, we turn our attention to MLB Network, who recently did a segment where they went through one blockbuster trade involving every MLB team. The proposal involving the Detroit Tigers is...certainly something.
In this so called "blockbuster," the Tigers would send Javier Baez to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Trevor Story. It's essentially a bad contract swap.
As this Twitter user states, this would be a pretty pointless trade. Both of these contracts are looking to be busts. Baez has forgotten how to hit, and Story can't stay healthy. This doesn't seem like a trade that either team would even consider...
...or would they?
Let's look at this first from Boston's perspective. Story had elbow surgery last offseason, and was limted to just 43 games in 2023. Those 43 games weren't so hot either, as he hit just .203 with a 48 wRC+. He struck out in almost a third of his plate appearances.
Baez, of course, was the worst qualified hitter in baseball. He hit .222 with a 61 wRC+ in 136 games. He opted into his contract because, well, why wouldn't he opt into $25 million a year for the next four years when he's been this bad?
However, the Red Sox do need a shortstop. And Baez, for all of his faults offensively, was outstanding with the glove in 2023. He was third in the American League and sixth among MLB shortstops with a outs above average of 9.
Because of his elbow, Story played a lot of second base in 2022. After returning from injury this season, he was outstanding at shortstop, putting up eight defensive runs saved and 8 OAA. He can still pick it as well.
These are two identical players at this point who are signed to virtually identical contracts. Both have four years and $100 million left on their respective deals. Which leads us to this trade from the Tigers perspective.
I know it sounds crazy, but if I'm Scott Harris, and new Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow offers me this trade, I do it in a heartbeat. Story has higher upside than Baez at this point, especially considering he'll be fully recovered from elbow surgery when spring training starts in February.
There's very little chance of Baez coming close to the hitter he once was. Story's main issue since coming to Boston has been health, and since that appears to be cleared up, he's the better option at shortstop.
If the Tigers are going to have an albatross contract clogging up their shortstop position, I'd personally rather have Story than Baez. This is a trade that has about a 0% chance of happening, but if it did, I wouldn't be upset.
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