Out Of Options, Jason Bay Forced To Sign With The Mets

Yesterday on the Mike Francesa Show on WFAN in New York, Mike Francesa set the hot stove on fire by announcing the New York Mets have signed Jason Bay and the Mets will make that announcement next week.

Francesa’s announcement was confirmed by several sources and the Mets have signed Bay to a four-year, $66 million contract. There is a vesting option for a fifth-year, which could bring to the total value to the contract to $80 million.

Bay got the fifth year he wanted

For the Mets, they fill their gaping hole in left field and for Bay, he gets paid. Here is what I wrote about Bay in my Free Agent Primer:

“Biggest Free Agent Surprise: Jason Bay will not be back with the Boston Red Sox. As I told my buddy Odie, Bay is like the girl in high school who appears all sweet and innocent, but has slept with the entire football team.”

Everyone thinks because Bay is a soft-spoken nice guy and has thrived in Boston, he will just accept whatever Theo Epstein offers him and money doesn’t matter–not the case. I think Bay gets a five-year deal from another team and takes the years and the money and runs.”

And I wouldn’t fault him for that.”

Bay got the potential fifth year and the money he was seeking from the Mets. However, Bay really overplayed his hand this offseason and was forced to sign with the Mets.

Here is my time line of what happened to Bay this offseason.

The Boston Red Sox offer Bay a four-year, $60 million contract.

Though Bay wants to stay in Boston, he feels jilted and thinks he can get more years and money on the free agent market.

With Bay being perhaps the second or third best hitter on the free agent market, Bay feels he can easily get what he thinks he deserves.

Bay feels he could have interest from the Red Sox, Mets, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Seattle Mariners.

As the days went on, Bay’s No.1 choice–the Red Sox seemed to have moved on.

The Mets make an offer to Bay.

Bay, lukewarm on signing with the Mets, holds out in hopes of another team making an offer.

The Mariners, Yankees, and Giants show no interest in signing Bay leaving only the Mets as a possible suitor.

Bay and his agent go back to the Red Sox to talk about a backloaded contract.

The Red Sox aren’t too keen on going over the luxury tax pass on the idea.

The Mets get desperate, bid against themselves, and with no other team in the mix give Bay a vesting option for a fifth year.

Bay, with no other options and not wanting his only offer to disappear is forced to sign with the Mets.

The Mets will have a press conference announcing the Bay signing and Bay will say “It’s a dream come true” to play for the Mets.

Pretty interesting stuff huh? But I don’t think anything I have just said is too far off. As a matter of fact, I think it’s a pretty accurate time line.

While Bay overplayed his hand in one aspect because he didn’t have as many suitors as he thought he would, on the other hand he got what he wanted.

Bay’s situation is very similar to CC Sabathia’s last season. The Mets are a big market team, who were desperate to make a move, and desperate to land Bay. So they gave him another year in order to get him signed.

And make no mistake about it, the Mets were desperate to land Bay. Ticket sales are down right now and the Mets had to sign someone to energize their disgruntled fan base.

Bay is a start, but is not the final answer for the Mets.

Do I think Bay will be handle the pressure of playing in New York? Yes, I do. There was more pressure on him in Boston to perform and to replace Manny Ramirez and he handled everything better than I ever thought he would.

However, between Bay’s rather poor and all signs pointing to a rapid decline–I think Bay will not live up to his contract in New York. As a matter of fact, I think in the third, forth, and fifth years of this contract, Bay will be a disaster in Flushing.

He is a power hitter, who strikes out a ton playing in the Grand Canyon of ballparks. Bay was a benefactor of playing his games at Fenway Park. A lot of his home runs that he hit will just be long outs at Citi Field.

By his third, forth, and fifth years of his contract, Bay will be a guy hitting 15-20 home runs and striking out 170 times a year. A player like that is not worth $16.5 million.

Ironically, I don’t think Bay’s defense will be as big of an issue as people are making it out to be. I have watched every game Bay has played in over the last year and a half and I never saw him not get to a ball he was supposed to.

Does Bay have a terrible arm? Yes, there is no question about that. But every ball that needed to be caught, he caught.

Now if the Mets could just add some pitching, they will have a shot to compete with the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg


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2 Responses to “Out Of Options, Jason Bay Forced To Sign With The Mets”

  1. Chuck Hanf Says:

    Good read! Well done, I agree with most of your points.

  2. all night long – jason mraz live in stuttgart | Fling Hotel Says:

    […] Out Of Options, Jason Bay Forced To Sign With The Mets « The Ghost … […]

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