Within a 24-hour span, three key members of the 2016 Chicago Cubs were traded away by the organization, and as fans reel from those moves, the team is paying tribute to shortstop Javier Báez, who was dealt to the New York Mets on Friday.
Báez, the ninth-overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, was sent to New York along with pitcher Trevor Williams, and the team paid tribute to “El Mago” with a remarkable video that highlighted the massive impact that the shortstop had on the North Side:
“Javy. El Mago. You electrified Wrigley Field like no other, and your legacy here will last forever,” the Cubs said in the social media post.
Báez was a two-time All-Star and a Gold Glove winner for the Cubs. He was also a key cog for the 2016 team that won the franchise’s first World Series title in 108 years, hitting a home run in Game 7 of that series as the Cubs defeated Cleveland.
Javy’s best season came in 2018, when he led the National League with 111 RBI’s and cracked 34 home runs, finishing in second in NL MVP voting.
Overall, Báez hit 140 home runs and drove in 443 RBI’s for the Cubs in parts of eight seasons.
The shortstop was also known for his incredible flair on the diamond, with no-look tags, swim moves to avoid tags while running the bases, and his propensity for incredible celebrations after big moments.
Báez will be a free agent at season’s end, but in the mean time he will team up with fellow Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor, as the two figure to play shortstop and second base for the Mets as they try to secure a postseason berth.