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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: Aug 25, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2009 12:03 am

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

It's the same story every year - the Mets get a big name and then proceed to go nowhere.  With a questionable knee and a suspect shoulder it was no surprise there wasn't much competition to sign a guy who hit .267 and struck out 162 times. Oh, and those 119 RBIs?? That was a benefit of playing on one of the better hitting teams last year (more guys on base in front of him) and in a hitter's park. 

Bay will go on the 60-day DL with a foot injury and only after 2 months will the crack Mets medical staff realize that it was his shoulder that was bothering him.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2009 11:52 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Halladay/Hamels/Happ/Blanton are all healthy, proven winners...The Phils' fifth starter just has to keep their opponents under 6 runs...the Phils will clobber other teams fifth starters...Santana (coming off surgery) is even an uncertainty...behind him is zero.

Since: May 4, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 11:04 pm

another injury prone veteran who is destined... be injured again as a Met while Minaya twiddles his thumbs and says, "Don't blame me for the injuries!"

It's still about as good a signing as they were going to get, but the Mets continue to fill their roster and most pressing needs with players who can't stay healthy.

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 10:58 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

still the mets have only one pitcher, they are just trying to look like they care for awhile and hope the phillies fall apart, it just seems that the mets still will not get playoffs, because the phillies are just too good. Maybe if they get lucky 1 and done, right now it is all yankees

Since: Nov 12, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 10:03 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Overpaid for Bay ... being a Red Sox fan i am not too sad to see him leave.  At Citi field his numbers will decline and he cannot hit anythign other than a fastball, plus he is a sub-par fieldler.  Granted he is an upgrade for the Mets and the 25 different left fielders they had but i woudln't expect much and he will not hit for average.

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 9:54 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Once again still need 2 starters,more bullpen help,above average catcher and ADAM LAROCHE OR forget to do even one of these things and NO CHANCE FOR PLAYOFFS 2010.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 9:51 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Thanks Jason, Have fun never making the playoffs....

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2009 9:19 pm

Jason Bay Now...Molina soon to follow

I think the Mets overpaid for Jason Bay. I like Bay a lot and he can do some real damage offensively in a good ball park like in Pittsburgh and Boston. However, Citi Field is a pitchers park and Jason Bay's offensive numbers will go down. This means the Mets are on the hook for $66 million for four years on a slightly better than average left fielder (taking in the numbers he will project to produce in Citi field). That money could have just as easily gone into some quality starting and relief pitching since Citi field is basically a pithcer friendly park. I guess that will mean Benjie Molina will sign a contract soon and be another over paid player. Yes, I like Molina and I think he is a very good player but he is certainly not worth all the dough the Mets are going to throw his way. Catchers in there 30s start to break down real fast...Anyone remember Sandy Alomar when he was in his 30s?

Since: Nov 27, 2008
Posted on: December 29, 2009 9:04 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Mets need a lot more than Jason Bay. I see that as a replacement bat for Delgado. The Mets still do not have a real 1st basemen or cathcer and do they really think Castillo will have another year like last year. The other corner outfield spot with Francoeur is another joke. Whats more is much less with the pathetic pitching staff they have. Mets fan since before 1969.

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 7:57 pm

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Now sign MOLINA,BEDARD,SHEETS,ADAM LAROCHE,and two decent relief pitchers (VALVERDE,BEIMEL) but the releif pitchers MUST BE ABOVE AVERAGE. Do this and I am ready for 2010.

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