Javier Baez didn't mind waiting.
But like the Tigers team that signed him, the shortstop was hoping to get a deal done before baseball's lockout.
"I wanted to be on one of the best teams," Baez said on Wednesday as the Tigers introduced him in a Zoom press conference. He said it was 50/50 importance to sign before the lockout.
"All the young guys coming up, I think we have a pretty good chance to make a World Series. That's why we're here," Baez said.
"I wanted to be on one of the best teams," Javier Baez said. He added it was 50/50 importance to sign before the lockout.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) December 1, 2021
"All the young guys coming up, I think we have a pretty good chance to make a World Series." pic.twitter.com/RwnjeDJYI9
The 29-year-old shortstop told Avila he remembered coming up as a young player with the Cubs, surrounded by veterans.
"Him saying that, this guy really understands where we're at," Avila recalled.
Baez joins a young team as one of its highest-paid players. Detroit signed the shortstop to a six-year, $140 million deal.
"I'm the type of leader who likes to be in this position. I like to be the leader," Baez added.
AJ Hinch praised the hiring of his new infielder.
"He and I are very aligned in what the goal of the day is: and that's to win the game."
Hinch told him he's excited to write his name in the Tigers lineup every day. The manger said messages started flying when the Javier Baez news leaked. He mentioned Casey Mize, Miguel Cabrera, and Jonathan Schoop sharing in their approval.
“He’s a perfect fit for us," Hinch said. “A super tough kid who knows how to win.”