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Mets Make A Splash, Acquire Javier Baez In Trade With Cubs



Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor grew up playing against each other in Puerto Rico and in high school in Florida after their families moved to the United States.

Now, they’ll have a chance to play together in New York.

The Mets acquired Baez and righthander Trevor Williams from the Cubs on Friday in exchange for prospects Pete Crow-Armstrong.

Baez will be the team's everyday shortstop until Lindor returns from his oblique strain. Once Lindor returns from the injured list, they will combine to form one of the most electrifying double-play combinations in baseball.

The Cubs, meanwhile, continue to sell off. Baez joins Anthony Rizzo, Craig Kimbrel, Ryan Tepera and Andrew Chafin on the list of players traded away this week. The Cubs have added several prospects to their system plus two solid young big leaguers in second baseman Nick Madrigal and reliever Codi Heuer.

CUBS ACQUIRE

Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF
Age: 19

The 19th overall pick in last year’s draft, Crow-Armstrong got off to a 10-for-24 start this season at Low-A St. Lucie before suffering a torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder that required season-ending surgery. He ranked as the Mets No. 6 prospect in their midseason update. Crow-Armstrong is an elite defensive center fielder for his age. He is a graceful athlete with plus speed who glides to the ball and makes the position look easy. He has elite instincts, plays fast and has a plus arm, giving him all the tools to be a perennial Gold Glove defender in the future. At the plate Crow-Armstrong takes controlled, mature at-bats, doesn’t have many holes in his swing and uses the whole field, but he doesn’t hit the ball very hard and has a lot of strength gains he needs to make. He has room to get more physical and add power, but it will be a long process. Crow-Armstrong’s speed, defense and instincts are carrying assets that should help him rise to the majors. Even if he just hits .250 with 10-15 home runs, he’ll be an everyday regular in center field.

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METS ACQUIRE

Javier Baez, SS
Age: 28

The freewheeling Baez remains simultaneously one of the most exciting and frustrating players in Major League Baseball. He continues to hit massive home runs, contort his body in incredibly acrobatic ways on slides and make nifty defensive plays with his electric hands, but his 36.3% strikeout rate is the highest of his career and his walk rate has been among the league’s worst for two consecutive seasons. Over the last two seasons, Baez .230/.271/.434 with 206 strikeouts and 22 walks in 150 games. He’s also hit 30 home runs, driven in 89 RBIs and stolen 16 bases in that time, exemplifying the extremes he represents. Baez is signed only through the end of this season and will be a free agent at the end of the year. He played second base his first four seasons in the majors and should have no problem sliding over to the keystone.

Trevor Williams, RHP
Age: 29

Williams was a solid starter in the Pirates rotation in 2016-17 but has a 5.48 ERA in 50 appearances (49 starts) over the last three seasons. His low-90s fastball, upper-70s curveball and mid-80s changeup have all been hit hard this year, but his low-80s slider has been a dominant swing-and-miss pitch he can lean on. Williams gives the Mets valuable rotation depth and can slide into long relief.

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