There was no suspense with the decision. Baez has struggled mightily since landing in Detroit. He owns a .230/.273/.361 line through the first two seasons of a six-year, $140MM free agent pact. That includes a .222/.267/.325 slash through 547 trips to the dish in 2023.
Baez is due $25MM annually over the next two seasons, followed by $24MM yearly salaries in 2026 and ’27. That contract would make it very difficult for the Tigers to trade him unless they pay the money down almost in entirety. Detroit could look to supplant Baez as the starting shortstop this offseason, although the weak free agent class at the position makes that more challenging than would be the case in a typical winter.