Talk about El Mago.
After all that speculation about whether former Cubs All-Star Javy Báez would return to the Mets or the Cubs, the free agent shortstop pulled another trick — and $140 million — out of his hat when he materialized in Detroit this week.
The biggest trick of all might yet turn out to be that the fit between the long-dormant Tigers and the high-energy Báez — who feeds off the crowd — becomes even better than it might have been with a Mets or Cubs reunion.
At least Tigers general manager Al Avila seemed to be convinced of that much as he waded through the All-Stars in this year’s historically strong free agent shortstop class and began focusing on Báez.
“One thing that we wanted to know for sure before we got really deeper into this was that Javy wanted to come to Detroit and be a part of this renaissance, per se, and be a big key part of it,” said Avila, who related a conversation he had with Báez on the Tigers’ plans — a conversation had in Spanish to help assure nothing was lost in translation or even a minor language barrier.
“We explained to him where were as an organization, as a baseball team, and where we wanted to get to, and how we felt that he could be a big part of making us better and getting us to the playoffs,” said…