Latest Cubs offseason report suggests Yankees could make run at Javier Baez


The Yankees rumors are swirling, as the NYY have a potential new trade target in Javier Baez.

The New York Yankees — well, all of Major League Baseball, pretty much — are taking us on the most uneventful roller coaster ride we could have ever imagined this offseason. Every fan is constantly refreshing Twitter for the latest hot stove updates and, for the most part, we’re getting a whole lot of nothing in terms of concrete news.

But the fun part? Endless speculation. We don’t know what any team (aside from the New York Mets) is going to do leading up to 2021 Opening Day given all of these self-imposed financial restraints that are leading to a snail-paced free agent and trade market.

If it’s going to move slow, it at least better be entertaining from a content perspective, and that’s thankfully the case thus far. This just feels like middle school with everyone crowding around someone’s locker to hear the juiciest gossip. And the Chicago Cubs are now the center of attention.

According to the latest reports, as many previously speculated, the Cubbies could orchestrate a fire sale this offseason, which would put the Yankees in prime position to make a number of moves.

"“Theo Epstein, the Chicago Cubs’ head of baseball operations, has acknowledged that the team faces changes this winter,” ESPN insider Buster Olney wrote. “In conversations with other teams, the Cubs are signaling there will be significant turnover on the roster, with a willingness to move almost any veteran — as well as just about anyone from the core group of position players who won the 2016 World Series, including shortstop Javier Baez.”"

Anthony Rizzo? That’d be cool. Kris Bryant? I mean, sure, we’ll take him if it came down to it. Kyle Schwarber? Bomb after bomb over the short porch. But is Javier Baez the most intriguing option for the Yankees based on the team’s situation at this very moment?

Of all the Yankees rumors, this is the most Yankees.

DJ LeMahieu is clearly not guaranteed to return. Gleyber Torres is not guaranteed to be the team’s shortstop of the future. If the Yankees really want to play it slow, save some money, and evaluate everything once there’s a vaccine and fans can return to games, then acquiring Baez via trade, shifting Torres to second base, and letting LeMahieu walk in free agency could be the perfect solution (not for Yankees fans, but for the cheap suits in the executive suites).

The reason this is perhaps the most intriguing option is because Baez is entering his third year of arbitration eligibility (set to earn about $12 million) and will be a free agent after 2021. Despite coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons in 2018 and 2019, Baez’s 2020 was nothing short of awful, so at the moment his trade value isn’t exactly prohibitive. The Cubs aren’t going to give him away for free, but the price could be right.

Javy Baez wearing pinstripes at shortstop (potentially ready to sign an extension in the middle of the season), Gleyber back to second base, and LeMahieu hopefully to ANY team except the Red Sox or Mets. It’s not an ideal scenario for those who have been advocating for DJLM since Day 1, but it’s an alternate move that can perhaps improve the Yankees’ short-term window based on the current vision of the front office, whatever that may be.

Do we think this will happen? Probably not. But it’s yet another hypothetical to dive into for your offseason pleasure as we wait for a single definitive headline about anything.