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Mets say bye-bye to Javier Baez, set Robert Gsellman free, hear from Joey Lucchesi

Javier Baez is nearing a $140 million, 6-year

Javier Baez is nearing a $140 million, 6-year deal with Detroit. Baez hit .265-31-87 with the Cubs and Mets. Credit: AP/Nick Wass

So long, Javier Baez. The Mets barely knew you.

Baez reportedly agreed Tuesday to a six-year, $140 million contract with the Tigers, a known participant in the shortstop market who landed on probably the cheapest top-tier option.

That eliminated any possibility of Baez returning to the Mets for an extended run with Francisco Lindor, his friend and double-play partner late last season. The Mets had been interested in bringing him back to play second base, but the chances of that happening decreased when they added infielder Eduardo Escobar, as well as outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha, last week.

The Mets obtained Baez and righthander Trevor Williams from the Cubs for prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong at the trade deadline. He had a .299/.371/.515 slash line in 47 games — much better than his career norms and early-season production — but his stay in Queens probably will be best remembered for the thumbs-down saga.

He admitted in August that the celebratory thumbs-down gestures from him, Lindor and others were meant as a form of booing Mets fans, some of whom had booed players during another mediocre season. That drew a strong condemnation from team president Sandy Alderson and, two days later, an apology from Baez and Lindor.

With Baez, Corey Seager (Rangers) and Marcus Semien (also Rangers) off the board, the remaining big-time free-agent shortstops are Carlos Correa and Trevor Story.

G set free

Righthander Robert Gsellman became a free agent when the Mets did not tender him a contract prior to the 8 p.m. Tuesday deadline to do so.

In six major-league seasons, spent mostly as a reliever, Gsellman, 28, has a 4.59 ERA. He had a 3.77 mark in 2021 but missed most of the year with a torn lat.

Righthander Stephen Nogosek and outfielder Mark Payton also were not tendered contracts and become free agents.

The Mets did tender contracts — with salaries to be determined in the coming months — to their other 27 pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players, a group that includes Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo, Seth Lugo, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith and others.

Lucchesi sighting

Joey Lucchesi threw for the first time since having Tommy John surgery in June, he announced on Instagram.

"Your boy has a new elbow," he wrote in part. "Let's gooo!!"

Lucchesi is expected to miss at least most of the 2022 season.

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