MLB trade deadline: Reviewing the impact of 2021 deadline trades

People line up for a photo with the 2021 Braves baseball World Series Championship Trophy at the Anderson University Softball Complex Wednesday July 27, 2022. The trophy is scheduled for 151 stops in the Southeast, commemorating 151 years of Braves baseball. The World Champions Trophy Tour Presented by Truist will travel throughout Braves Country, featuring locations in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina, and North Carolina, according to Braves officials.Braves Championship Trophy Tour Stops In Anderson
People line up for a photo with the 2021 Braves baseball World Series Championship Trophy at the Anderson University Softball Complex Wednesday July 27, 2022. The trophy is scheduled for 151 stops in the Southeast, commemorating 151 years of Braves baseball. The World Champions Trophy Tour Presented by Truist will travel throughout Braves Country, featuring locations in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina, and North Carolina, according to Braves officials.Braves Championship Trophy Tour Stops In Anderson /
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Javier Báez is close to signing with the Detroit Tigers
Javier Baez with the Mets. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Javier Baez trade

As part of their wholesale unloading, the Cubs sent shortstop Javier Baez along with pitcher Trevor Williams to the Mets in exchange for an injured minor league outfielder named Pete Crow-Armstrong.

The Mets obtained Baez with the intent of moving him to second and pairing him with shortstop Francisco Lindor in what they hoped would be a world championship middle infield, at least in 2021 and — if they could sign Baez — for years to come.

Baez held up his part of the deal. In 47 games he batted .299 with an .886 OPS, all you could ask of a middle infielder and more.

But the Mets, who were solidly in first place in the NL East at the trade deadline, still lost 37 of their final 59 games finished and 11 games behind the division champion Braves. Then, with the winter lockout looming, Baez signed a six-year, $140 million contract with the Tigers, leaving the Mets empty-handed.

Crow-Armstrong, the kid the Cubs got for Baez, has not yet seen a major league stadium. But he has shown well in the minors. At High-A South Bend, he is hitting .250 with a .790 OPS, and is the third-ranked prospect in the Cubs’ system. Still only 20, he’s considered a top-flight center field prospect, he’s projected to arrive at Wrigley Field no later than 2024.

The verdict: The Mets got two good months from Baez but, in the grand scheme of things, they proved to be worthless. If Crow-Armstrong makes it in Chicago, this trade will eventually be viewed as a big one for the Cubs and a disaster in Queens.