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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, CBSSports.com 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.

Comments

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 7:31 pm
 

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

I disagree. Bay's presence adds appreciably to the lineup. It allows Wright to bat 3rd, Francouer 6th or 7th. Bay is a gamer, no complainer, and fielding skills in LF are the least important of all OF positions. 
Further, hitting .290 w 25 HR costs $60M in the FA market today; and the Mets have it. A bat is far more predicable and relatively less expensive than forking over slightly less dough on Piniero, Wolf, Garland or whomever mess is left out there. Holliday is asking for more and is marginally a better player. The alternatives Ankiel or Nady weren't being chased [and are less predictable] and the Mets aren't willing to give Carter the starting LF job.
If the Mets sign Sheets or Bedard at a discount w incentives, then the offseason will have been spent as best as could have been expected.
BTW, Fenway hasn't been HR haven for years and the high left field wall is not unlike Citi. If Bay loses a few HR for a few more 2B, so what?
Is the Bay signing ideal? No. But it keeps them in the NL East race and is a victory of sorts in thoday's market.




Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2009 7:08 pm
 

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

With the luck of the Mets Bay will probably get stung on his hand by a bee,develop a boil,which will thwn get infected and he'll need surgery.During surgery he'll get addicted to painkillers and get busted for beating up his dog.



Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2009 6:34 pm
 

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Good note.  A couple of quick things:

- I'm not sure why Bay is considered a mediocre outfielder.  His range was above the AL average, he committed no errors last year, and led all AL left fielders with 15 assists.  (All per Baseball Reference.)  That doesn't sound like mediocre to me, especially playing the Green Monster half the season.

- No argument the Mets need pitching help.  Pelfrey regressed, Perez disappeared, and Maine would best be served moving to the bullpen rather than hurting himself annually as a starter.  There are still some options out there -- but one-year deals would be preferable.

- Speaking of one-year deals, the Mets have one out for Bengie Molina, who wants a three-year contract.  This would be bad for two reasons:  catchers rarely last until age 38, and they have Josh Thole progressing rapidly.

For those who believe Citi Field zaps the team's power, I say it's possible, but the stats don't support it.  The Mets had just as little power on the road as at home (David Wright hit five homers at home and five on the road, and the team only had a few more homers on the road than at Citi), while their pitching staff gave up just about as many home runs as they had in 2008, whether at Citi, Shea, or in opposing ballparks.

You're right -- it's a step, but at least it's a positive one.



Since: May 15, 2008
Posted on: December 29, 2009 6:27 pm
 

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Phillies fans would know all about the meds. JC Romero gave you guys great insight into his meds. You just sent your best pitcher to another team. After Lee, the rest were average and Brad Lidge was horrible. Cole Hamels made jokes about the Mets choking and then has a pathetic season himself.



Since: Aug 25, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2009 5:45 pm
 

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Only an utterly blind and delusional Mets fan could think their pitching is on par with the Phillies. Get a grip.



Since: May 7, 2008
Posted on: December 29, 2009 5:42 pm
 

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

Nice to see that Jason Bay has no qualms about showing that it's all about the money.  He obviously isn't playing to win, considering he just left Boston for the Mets.  Omar Minaya is probably the worst GM in baseball, they have no pitching, and their lineup is punchless.  Hope the few extra mill he picked up keeps him warm at night, because success sure won't.



Since: Aug 25, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2009 5:41 pm
 

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

A panic move by a desperate team feeling the heat. The Meds, sorry....Mets, were bidding against themselves. Bay is gonna look like an 80 yr-old chasing fly balls in Citi. And don't count on him hitting more than 10 HRs there.




Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2009 5:33 pm
 

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

  Bay played well in Boston and I thank him for the efforts,, at Citi Park,, its a whole different atmosphere. For those who havnt seen that park,, its HUGE..   Bay hits hard but his numbers will be down and he will not play the outfield well due to the space.. at Fenway he didnt have to run as far or wide and he had to hit high and under...
Bay will hit 290 at best.. and hit mabe 20+ Homers if he chose to sign with the mets.. I think its a Bad move.. the Mets just simply needs pitching.. offensively theyre doable...
 the Mets need to shop for a pitcher not a dream wish hitter.



Since: Nov 12, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 5:30 pm
 

Bay-watch finished, Mets' winter looking up

The Mets need a hell of a lot more to have any hopes of catching up to the Phillies.



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

no much worse

I do agree the team needs to focus on building the farm system and pitching is ALWAYS first.  I do however dont agree with the Phillies starting pitching being any better than the Mets.  With the Phillies its the same thing, you have Halladay and then a bunch of question marks.  Hamels there #2 is coming off a horrible year and he is a ? as well.  Blanton , Happ , Moyer, these guys are all ? marks. 


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