Angels Rumors: Why these 2 players could be reunited with Joe Maddon
By Alfonso Cerna
There are few players in the league as exciting as Javier Baez. As he gets set to enter the prime of his career, it’s possible the best is yet to come.
Baez, 28, is one of many Cubs and stars who struggled in the 2020 shortened season. He’s put up two All-Star seasons from 2018-2019, and is slashing a career line of .264/.304/.473 across seven big-league seasons.
Javier Baez Last 5 Seasons:
- 2016 (142 games): (.273/.314/.423) 14 HR 59 RBI
- 2017 (145 games): (.273/.317/.480) 23 HR 75 RBI
- 2018 (160 games): (.290/.326/.554) 34 HR 111 RBI (All-Star)
- 2019 (138 games): (.281/.316/.531) 29 HR 85 RBI (All-Star)
- 2020 (59 games): (.203/.238/.360) 8 HR 24 RBI
Angels: Javier Baez will be one of the most sought after shortstops.
What’s interesting about Baez is the loaded free-agent shortstop class he will be apart of in the offseason. Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, and Trevor Story are among the names headlining the market. All five will be paid heavily for what they are projected in their prime years.
Basing their potential deals off Fernando Tatis Jr’s 14-year, $340 contract is reasonable if they all perform at high levels in 2021. It’s possible this would be the most-expensive free-agent class in league history.
Joining those players will be current Angels shortstop Jose Iglesias. He won’t get paid nearly as much, but if he has another productive season Iglesias will be a more than capable option for teams who need a shortstop at a lesser price than the other big names. If the Halos swing and miss on Baez or the other top targets, expect another low-risk addition at the shortstop position.
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There’s still a long way to go, but the lack of contract extensions for Baez and Rizzo is something the Angels should keep a close eye on.