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: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2009 12:28 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

I am a yankee fan, and I think the mets have a better chance than people give them credit for. Their lineup will be pretty good ....reyes, castillo, wright, bay, beltran, francouer, blanco... the need a 1B (Huff?)...they also need starting pitching to follow santana....Wang and/or sheets would be good #2/ 3 options (even though they are injury prone- they may come cheap) rounded out by pelfrey and and perez. Escobar, Maine to the pen to set up Rodriguez.

I dont think this makes them instant contenders, but it at least gets them into the wild card hunt in september.

Since: Apr 30, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2009 12:18 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Spoken like a true Yankee fan. more concerned with other teams rather than his own.

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2009 11:56 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

To the guy who thinks the mets lineup is even with the phillies lineup is delusional... the right side of the mets infield is a joke compared to the phillies... and to say that the Phillies staff other than Halladay are ?? then obviously you need to watch more baseball... Hamels has one bad year and he's thrown under the bus??? He's only 26... Correct me if i'm wrong but wasn't Cliff Lee in the minors 3 years ago cause he was awful?  he had an ERA above 6 in 07!!!  Having your entire staff in double digit wins isn't having ??...

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2009 11:45 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

So what, the team has been adjusting the past 3 years as they start off as favorites to win the division and fall short???  If they stay healthy they will do much better and be able to compete for a playoff spot, but as it is looking I don't think they'll have the pitching to get it done.  Instead of Jason Bay they should have gone for pitching.  At some point they will have to dump Santana and start over using him to get some quality young prospects.  Pitchers like Maine and Pelfry have had their chances as well, at some point you have to totally dump your team and start over.  Keep Wright and Reyes and go from there.

Since: Jul 13, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 10:22 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Unless the Mets intend to put Bay in their rotation, I think the $80 million would have been better spent on John Lackey. Granted it would not wipe out the deal they gave Oliver Perez last year, but at least it would give the team a 2nd starter to go with Johan Santana.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 10:20 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up


I'm not a Mets fan, Boston fan, Yankee or Phillies fan so I'm certainly impartial when I say this.  You sir, are STUPID.... I don't like to insult people but geez, are you kidding me?  10 hrs??  Give me a break dude.

Since: Oct 25, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 10:16 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

The Mets are making another panic move.  They've done this countless times in the past where they will either make a trade or sign someone just to keep up with the Joneses (in this case, the Yanks & Phils).  Bay is a good player but the Mets are clearly feeling the heat from their miserable team last year coupled with the fact that the Yankees & Phillies are making smart moves of their own.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2009 10:02 am


Over pay for a slightly better than averge player.  Limited defense, strikes out 150 times, will hit .270 with 22 hr and 90 rbi in ny.  You pay $16M for that?  Panic move.  Minaya, time to go, you have the worst minor leagues, you can not live off of giving Santana a ton of money and convincing Minnesota to take a bag of balls off your hands forever.

Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 9:39 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

It should be no mystery what Jason Bay will do with the Mets.  He is 31 years of age and has a long history playing in the NL with the Pirates.  He will hit .280+, get 20+ HRs, and drive in close to 100 RBIs depending on how well the players ahead of him do.  He is also a mediocre fielder with little speed and a mediocre arm.

Is that worth 17M per year?


The Mets would have been better off signing Johnny Damon for 9-10M per year for a couple of years.

The Mets got screwed.

Since: Mar 12, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 9:38 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Mets winter looking up?yeah okay he took the $$ that is all he wanted was more $$ to play for a teamthat needs pitchingPitchingand more pitchingWright, Reyes, Beltranand Bay do not make the team great, 4 year and the mets oh i give them one wild card playoff berthI would not be surprised if the Braves do way better than the metsand the marlins no matter what seem to be a thorn in their sideHe will not get the HR's he had here in Bostonand he had better become a speedster for that HUGE left fieldI will be checking back in august and see where the mets arevs the rest of their division yet alone the NL

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