Blog Entry

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Posted on: December 29, 2009 4:35 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2009 5:21 pm

Whether he wants to or not, slugging outfielder Jason Bay is on the verge of becoming a New York Met. Bay and the club have agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $66 million, has confirmed, with a fifth-year option that could boost the package into the $80 million neighborhood.

The deal is pending Bay passing a physical examination and, as such, the Mets are not confirming that an agreement is in place.

Barring any surprises with Bay's physical, the move will accomplishes one of the Mets' chief offseason goals, which was adding a slugger who will man left field and make manger Jerry Manuel's lineup more dangerous. It also should silence critics who were chattering that the Mets' dalliance with Bay was "just for show", a transparent attempt to placate their fans while making an offer they knew Bay would not accept.

In the end, they got it done.

Now, regarding the "wants to" part: The Mets made their initial offer to Bay coming out of the winter meetings in Indianapolis some three weeks ago and have been waiting for an answer ever since. Speculation, of course, has been strong in some quarters that Bay must not have wanted to become a Met very badly because, if he did, talks between him and the club wouldn't have dragged along for so long.

But in a chilly winter on the free agent market in which Boston cut bait with Bay and signed outfielder Mike Cameron, and Seattle, San Francisco and the Yankees -- all clubs looking for a big, middle-of-the-order bat -- Bay's options pretty much dwindled to just one. And that one was located with a Queens ZIP code.

However Bay was delivered -- and there's a lot of dollars here to sooth any disappointment the Canada native might have felt when Seattle didn't step up, or when Boston pulled its offer -- there is no doubt that it's a victory for the Mets.

It's not a guaranteed victory, because we've been through this before with them: They traded for Johan Santana two winters ago and signed free agent closers Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz last winter and failed to make the playoffs both years. Much to their fans chagrin, the Mets have proven in recent years that they're a different breed and often add up to less than the sum of their parts would appear.

But they have needs to fill as the time since their last playoff appearance (2006) lengthens and the back-to-back NL champion -- and Mets' NL East rival -- Philadelphia Phillies (who already have traded for Roy Halladay and signed Placido Polanco this winter) continue to swing for the fences.

Though he's now 31, considered a mediocre outfielder and batted just .267 for the Red Sox last summer, he also walloped 36 home runs and finished with 119 RBI.

With a healthy Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran (it's never too late to start knocking on wood in advance of opening day with them) and with slugging third baseman David Wright, Bay will give the Mets another presence that should make life difficult for opposing pitchers.

But their job is not finished. They still need a catcher -- free agent Bengie Molina remains the most logical bet -- and pitching (bullpen help, especially).

With the Mets, the job is never finished. But with Bay poised to change his workplace address to Citi Field, ever so cautiously, there again is hope.


Since: Jul 4, 2009
Posted on: January 2, 2010 9:09 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Looking up?  Look at their lineup right now, they've basically traded Carlos Delgado for Jason Bay.  I've been a Mets fan for over 45 years, but pardon me if I'm not excited.  The jury is still out and they have another month+, to make moves to sure up the pitching staff, first base and catcher.  It looks to be another non playoff year in Flushing.

Since: Nov 26, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2010 8:00 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Can anyone please tell me when this deal is final? I have not heard of an interview set-up where Jason Bay is introduced as a Met. This gives the Mets great power to a weakened lineup last year in which Carlos Delgado will probably not be returning to. The Red Sox loss of Jason Bay only hurts them when trying to match the Yankee lineup now that 36 less home runs will be hit by Jason Bay. See to that Bay gets 30 next year as a New York Met considering that the outfield dimensions are not batter-friendly. Jason Bay will do well for the Mets as he did for the Red Sox, but don't expect his numbers to increase or decrease too steep.

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: January 1, 2010 11:10 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up


Since: Jan 1, 2010
Posted on: January 1, 2010 9:23 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up


Since: Feb 14, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2010 3:53 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Why not is there something wrong with field?

Since: Dec 31, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2009 10:59 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

B2....You make solid points, none of which I can completely disagree.  But I do really think you need to factor in maturity.  The Mets "core" is and has been very young through these rivalry years.  I attribute this youth and inexperience entirely to how we've choked.  The Phillies core is so special because they are all mentally mature and in there prime physical years.&nbs
p; It is this, not at all talent, that has been the seperation.  The Met "core" has aged in dog years comparitive to other young players from these last three seasons.  As a fan all I can do is hope to see that the maturity has come this year.  I mean the fact that they have led the division so deep into seasons of late is a tangible recognition that their talent is on the same plane as any team in baseball. 

When I hear the Mets, post the Bay signing (which by the way is a perfect upgrade, I have a hard time with the argument against this one?), are still 4th in the East I get giddy for the fact we may finally be underestimated.  Our talent today, with or without trading for a #2, can compete with anyone.  All we need, all we've needed is the mental toughness that comes with maturity.  Therefore every failure, every choke, every negative media comment has to make this team better.  If it doesn't, then that will be the biggest disappointment because this team is loaded with talent.  If they do not mature, I will tip my hat once again to Philly, or whomever in this strong division, but I know it will not be from lack of right personel, but lack of maturity and I'm getting too old to root for children.

Since: Sep 13, 2008
Posted on: December 31, 2009 10:50 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

No...the Mets dont have as good a chance as anybody I wouldnt be upset signing Jason Bay but my team has a great outfield already. I dont think Jason Bay is gonna give the Mets what they really need.....more Pitching. 

Since: Sep 13, 2008
Posted on: December 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

J Happ  

Since: Sep 13, 2008
Posted on: December 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

J Happ  

Since: Aug 25, 2007
Posted on: December 31, 2009 9:39 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

"and b2, you are simply an idiot, yea the mets fans stuff the ballot box, lol, no other teams fans do that....wake the f-up.
you seriously do not know baseball. you to should be fair and if you dont think reyes, wright and beltran are all-stars then theres no helping you, you are simply a moron"

If by not singing the praises of the Mets makes me a moron, then yes - I'm the biggest moron of them all.

Beltran deserves to be an All-Star. Outstanding centerfielder, always puts up excellent offensive numbers. I'll freely admit that, but what you won't admit is that he's never done a thing to elevate his team. He has none of the intangibles that make a champion. And he chokes. I know die-hard Mets fans that just roll their eyes and shake their heads when he comes up in a close game with runners on base. It started when he looked at a called 3rd strike to end game 7 of the NLCS vs the Cardinals and it has never stopped.

Wright? It's a good thing the AS game is played mid-season and not at the end like the NFL's Pro-Bowl. Wright wilted so badly in the 2nd half - the time when the Mets really, REALLY needed somebody to step up - that he looked more like a daffodil during a summer drought than the so-called "leader" of the team. Towards the end I half expected to see him curled up in the fetal position at 3rd base, sucking his thumb and crying for mama.  He'd actually do very well on a team with strong leadership (Philly, Yankees, BoSox) but he just doesn't have what it takes to shoulder the kind of weight needed to pull a team like the Mets into some sort of respectability.

Reyes? Completely overrated. In baseball terms he's an idiot. Tons of raw talent but complete idiot. If there was a stat for boneheaded plays then he's lead the league. Whether he's on base or in the field he's the Keystone Kops, all the Keystone Kops, wrapped into one. No wonder that even the members of his own front office wouldn't build a team around him if they had a choice (as shown in SI's poll).

Best of luck, Mets fans. Perhaps you can catch the Fish and make a play for 3rd place in the East.

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