How Detroit Tigers structured Javier Baez’s six-year, $140 million deal

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers shortstop Javier Baez put pen to paper Wednesday in Lakeland, Florida, following the completion of his medical exams.

His six-year, $140 million contract is official.

“There’s no secret that improving the middle of our infield was a top priority for us this offseason, and we’re thrilled to announce the addition of one of baseball’s most electric players to help fill that need,” Tigers general manager Al Avila said Wednesday in a statement. “Javy’s track record shows he’ll be an elite defender and a special bat in the heart of our lineup.

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“He’s a key piece to a highly competitive core of players that we are developing here in Detroit. Javy plays with tremendous passion, and we are looking forward to seeing the natural leadership abilities he brings both on and off the field to help us win.”

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Baez, who turned 29 on Wednesday, has an opt-out in his contract after the 2023 season. He also has a limited no-trade clause, allowing him to block trades to 10 teams each year. Here’s how the Tigers structured the deal, a source with knowledge of the contract details told the Free Press:

$20 million in 2022.

$22 million in 2023.

$25 million in 2024.

$25 million in 2025.

$24 million in 2026.

$24 million in 2027.

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“I’m excited to be a Detroit Tiger,” Baez said in a statement. “This is a team that is on the rise, and I’ve heard the fans in Detroit are hungry for a winner. We have a strong mix of veterans and talented young players and I’m looking forward to joining this group to make a run at the playoffs and bring the city a World Series championship.”

In 2021, Baez hit .265 with 31 homers, 87 RBIs, 28 walks and 184 strikeouts in 138 games between the Chicago Cubs (91 games) and the New York Mets (47 games). He posted a .319 OBP, .494 SLG and .813 OPS.

Baez, an eight-year MLB veteran, is a two-time All-Star, 2018 MVP runner-up and 2020 Gold Glove winner.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzoldRead more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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