Nineteen months ago, Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch described Javier Báez as an “elite player” in spring training before the former All-Star shortstop began the first season of a six-year, $140 million contract. After two seasons, Báez has yet to be elite in any area of his game while collecting $42 million in the Old English D.
The Tigers, at this point, know elite offense could be a pipe dream and would settle for elite defense from their highest-paid player, but even that is not guaranteed. His age continues to increase, and his production continues to decline.
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