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: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 5:27 pm

Weak NL pitching offsets spacious Citi Field?

Citi Field will be a challenge for Bay, but here's wondering if weaker National Leaugue pitching will offset the difference. Surely Bay's average will rise moving from the MLB's best in the AL East. If the Mets really want to compete, they need pitchers. A spacious ballpark like Citi Field begs for a strong pitching staff, but we can count on misguided moves and regular implosion by the Mets. I doubt they add any significant pitchers.

Since: Apr 3, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 5:03 pm

Mets reach agreement with Jason Bay

Stupid deal for the Mets.
Bay's numbers will go down in Citi Field.
He is a power hitter who goes for the home runs.  Those home runs will become fly balls now.  
A gap hitter is what you need in Citi Field.   Holliday would have been a better choice, he is a better hitter.  He hits for higher average and doesn't rely on doubles.
Mets aren't going in the right direction.  Sorry.

Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 4:56 pm

Wallop, or hit?

36 home runs is a good tally. Now, did he wallop them, or just hit them? Fenway isn't exactly a deep ballpark in left. That Citi Field is a spacious ballpark. Spacious to the point that David Wright was altering his swing to try and hit them out at Citi Field. Then, it's brought out that he's considered a mediocre outfielder. How does a mediocre outfielder fit in a spacious outfield? For the Mets sake, I hope that he, and the rest of the roster, can go through a season healthy, and we can then see what their lineup is capable of.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2009 4:56 pm

Still no pitching

One pitcher does not make a staff.  Mets can't compete with the Phillies pitching.  They have one great pitcher and the rest are complete question marks and if you were a betting man, they would all be worse than average.  Even with Jason Bay, they still don't have fearsome lineup and it is far from solid.  This team should start looking to building a farm system and concentrate on pitching first.  Another bad to mediocre year for the Metropolitans.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2009 4:50 pm

Mets reach agreement with Jason Bay

They might have overpaid a bit, but the Mets needed Bay to keep up with the Phillies. If the Mets can stay healthy, the addition of Bay should make the division race a lot more interesting.

Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2009 4:50 pm

Mets reach agreement with Jason Bay

Doesnt Matter. No one can hit homeruns in Citi Field. His numbers will be down, the NY faithful will boo and the Mets downward spiral will continue.

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