Posts Tagged ‘Jason Bay’

Starting Nine: National League East

January 14, 2010

Isn’t it funny how a couple of minutes could change an entire post? As I started writing this post last night, I found out the news that New York Mets’ center fielder, Carlos Beltran will be out of commission for three to four months.

Within five minutes, the Mets went from having a very good lineup to a lineup with a lot of holes in it. So now that Beltran is out for a couple of months, where does the Mets’ lineup stack-up against the rest of the National League East?

Let’s take a look at each lineup in the National League East as presently constructed today. Since the pitcher will hit ninth, I just inserted the team’s top pitcher in the nine-hole.

Philadelphia Phillies

1. Jimmy Rollins, SS

2. Placido Polanco, 3B

3. Chase Utley, 2B

4. Ryan Howard, 1B

5. Jayson Werth, RF

6. Raul Ibanez, LF

7. Shane Victorino, CF

8. Carlos Ruiz, C

9. Roy Halladay, P

Quick Take – One through eight, this is the best lineup in the National League. This lineup has speed and power throughout. This lineup will be hard to shutdown in 2010.

Atlanta Braves

1. Nate McLouth, CF

2. Martin Prado, 2B

3. Chipper Jones, 3B

4. Brian McCann, C

5. Troy Glaus, 1B

6. Yunel Escobar, SS

7. Matt Diaz, RF

8. Melky Cabrera, LF

9. Derek Lowe, P

Quick Take – This lineup will only go as far as Glaus takes them. If he can come back healthy, then the Braves will have a very good lineup in 2010. It could be made even better when super stud prospect Jason Heyward makes his debut.

New York Mets

1. Jose Reyes, SS

2. Luis Castillo, 2B

3. David Wright, 3B

4. Jason Bay, LF

5. Jeff Francouer, RF

6. Daniel Murphy, 1B

7. Omir Santos, C

8. Angel Pagan, CF

9. Johan Santana, P

Quick Take – Not having Beltran will kill this lineup. The Mets could make up for the loss of Beltran by signing Bengie Molina and/or Carlos Delgado. The Mets have been rumored to be interested in both.

Florida Marlins

1. Cameron Maybin, CF

2. Chris Coghlan, LF

3. Hanley Ramirez, SS

4. Jorge Cantu, 3B

5. Dan Uggla, 2B

6. Cody Ross, RF

7. Gabby Sanchez, 1B

8. John Baker, C

9. Josh Johnson, P

Quick Take – If Uggla and Cantu stay, then this lineup becomes a lot better than most people think. This is a big year for Maybin. I think he really needs to show something this year.

Washington Nationals

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF

2. Christian Guzman, 2B

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Adam Dunn, 1B

5. Josh Willingham, LF

6. Elijah Dukes, RF

7. Ivan Rodriguez, C

8. Ian Desmond, SS

9. Jason Marquis, P

Quick Take – This lineup is certainly getting better. I like the one through five, especially Zimmerman. The Nationals are talking to Orlando Hudson, but if he doesn’t sign with them, I don’t mind Desmond as their Opening Day shortstop. I think he can be good.

Tomorrow, we will take a look at the National League Central.

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

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

December 30, 2009

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

New York Mets To Sign Jason Bay

December 29, 2009

Update

Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that the deal is a four-year deal worth $66 million. There is also a vesting option for 2011.

Original Post

WFAN’s Mike Francesa said he had big news concerning the New York Mets this afternoon and big news he delivered.

Once he was done ripping New York Jets’ Head Coach Rex Ryan for no apparent reason (he is a bitter New York Giants fan), Francesa announced that he has learned the Mets will announce they have signed OF Jason Bay early next week.

Bay is coming to Flushing

The Wilpons are currently on vacation and Bay needs to pass his physical, which is why no deal has been announced already. Francesa didn’t mention any terms of the deal nor did he give an official day when the deal would be announced.

Obviously when this deal is officially announced, I will have a full write up on what this means for both parties. I will say right now that this will be bad for Bay’s career.

In other Mets’ news, Francesa did say they are still interested in catcher Bengie Molina, but Molina is steadfast on receiving a three-year deal. I don’t see Molina can get a three-year deal, but one can dream.

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

New York Yankees Steal Javier Vazquez From The Braves

December 22, 2009

As if there is anymore reason to hate the New York Yankees.

According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees have acquired RHP Javier Vazquez and LHP Boone Logan for OF Melky Cabrera, LHP Mike Dunn, and RHP Arodys Vizcaino.

So let me understand this and I think I do.

The Braves had a surplus of pitching and were looking to trade either Derek Lowe or Vazquez to acquire a much needed bat. Vazquez had more value because he is younger than Lowe and only has one year remaining on his contract, while Lowe has three more years.

Vazquez returns to the Yankees

So the Braves trade the guy with the most value to the Yankees and are only able to get a fourth outfielder in Cabrera? My head is going to explode.

I have watched Cabrera for the last three years and I don’t need to see any stats telling me how good he is. Cabrera is a mediocre, fourth outfielder.

If Cabrera played on the San Diego Padres or the Cincinnati Reds nobody would ever hear a word about him, but because he is a “Yankee,” people think he is a good baseball player. If you think he is good, then you are just a Yankee homer, or well, that would be the only reason.

I can’t believe the Braves–a pretty smart organization–fell for it.

Like I said, I have watched Cabrera on a regular basis over the last three years and he has ZERO baseball IQ. He has zero baseball IQ and has limited ability–that is a bad combination. He was just an extreme product of the powerful Yankee lineup.

I will say one positive thing about Cabrera. He does have a very good arm.

He is going to go to the Braves and hit .265 with nine home runs and have an OPS around .700. Those are stats someone like Ryan Church could have put up.

The Braves also received Vizcaino, who was the Yankees’ No. 3 prospect according to Baseball America. Dunn hasn’t been ranked in the top-10 of Yankee prospects over the last two years by Baseball America, but was so prized he couldn’t be included in the Curtis Granderson trade.

Dunn is nothing more than a left-handed reliever. Once again, the Yankees’ hype machine of prospects does its job.

For the Yankees, this is one steal of a trade. I know Yankee fans have negative thoughts about Vazquez because he faded at the end of the 2004 season and gave up the grand slam to Johnny Damon in Game 7 of the ALCS.

But the Yankees traded for Vazquez in 2003 to be their No. 1 or 2 starter in 2004. Now they have traded for Vazquez in 2009 to be their No. 4 starter in 2010. This time Vazquez is coming here with very little pressure on him.

Think about it. There are only two pitchers since 2004 to pitch 1,000 innings and have 1,000 strike outs and Johan Santana is one. The other one is now the No. 4 starter on the Yankees.

And for those of you Yankee fans who are concerned with Vazquez going from the National League to the American League, here is a juicy nugget for you.

In eight years in the NL and four years in the AL, Vazquez has the same K/9 rate (8.1), almost the same HR/9 (1.1 to 1.2), the same hits/9 (8.9), and almost the same WHIP (1.24 to 1.26).

As you can see, there is virtually no difference between AL Vazquez and NL Vazquez.

This deal also now opens up the left field spot for the Yankees. The Yankees could bring back Damon, or of course, sign Matt Holliday or Jason Bay to really stick it to the rest of baseball.

The Yankees acquired Granderson and Vazquez and didn’t have to give up Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero, or even Austin Romine.

The World Series champs have gotten even better this offseason.

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

Jason Bay And Johnny Damon Find Themselves In Similar Situations

December 19, 2009

There are a lot of differences between Johnny Damon and Jason Bay.

Damon is left-handed and Bay is right-handed. Damon has two World Series rings and Bay has zero. Damon’s game is based primarily on speed and Bay’s game is based primarily on power. Damon is flamboyant and likes to speak his mind, while Bay speaks softly and carries a big stick.

Bay and Damon more similarities than you think

Despite their differences, Damon and Bay also have a lot of similarities.

Damon and Bay are both left fielders. They were both a part of Red Sox Nation. Damon and Bay both finished in the top-10 amongst American League outfielders in OPS in 2009.

Perhaps their biggest similarity is that they are both free agents this offseason and both negotiated their way off their former teams.

As I mentioned in posts before, both Damon and Bay tried to strong arm big market teams (the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees), who weren’t desperate to sign them. They both had very little negotiating power this offseason and both acted like they held all the cards.

That game of poker doesn’t work with a big market team.

The big market team, who is not desperate to sign that player will always find a replacement. The Red Sox signed Mike Cameron and the Yankees signed Nick Johnson.

Whether Damon and Bay really wanted to return to their respective clubs, we’ll never know. Damon seemed like he really wanted to return to the Yankees and Bay seemed indifferent.

Right now it doesn’t matter whether or not they wanted to return to their respective clubs because they won’t. Both players will have new homes in 2010. But with limited options, both might be forced to sign with a team out of necessity.

Bay’s options seem limited. Right now his options seem to be the New York Mets and the New York Mets. Perhaps the San Francisco Giants or the St. Louis Cardinals–if they don’t re-sign Matt Holliday–will get into the mix for Bay.

My guess is Bay is hoping another team gets into the fray because I believe he has very little interest in signing with the Mets.If he really wanted to sign with them, I believe he would have done so already.

If he does sign with the Mets, he is going to make them sweat it out like CC Sabathia did with the Yankees last winter. The longer Bay waits, perhaps the more desperate the Mets will get to sign him and maybe they will give him an extra year or more money per year.

Damon has a couple of more options than Bay primarily because he is a more cost effective option. Damon could end up with the Atlanta Braves, Cardinals, Giants, or maybe even the Seattle Mariners.

I have no idea what Damon’s financial situation is–hosting Monday Night Raw this Monday might be a sign things aren’t well–but if he is expecting three years and $39 million, he is sorely mistaken.

Rumor has it Damon went to the Yankees at the last minute and said he would sign for two years and around $20 million. The Yankees were already in the final stages in negotiating the Johnson contract and told Damon no thanks.

Two years and around $20 million is what Damon should realistically expect.

Where ever Damon and Bay sign this offseason one thing is for sure. They both have more similarities than you think.

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

New York Yankees Sign Nick Johnson, End Johnny Damon Era

December 18, 2009

The New York Yankees signed a left-handed hitter to hit second in their lineup in 2010 and it’s not Johnny Damon.

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, via Twitter, is reporting that the Yankees have signed 1B Nick Johnson to a one-year, $5.5 million contract. The deal also includes a mutual option for 2011 for $5.5 million.

Johnson returns to the Bronx

The signing of Johnson essentially ends the Damon era in the Bronx.

Damon played the same game Jason Bay tried to play with the Red Sox. Both thought they were being undervalued by their current team and wanted to get paid what they thought their market value was.

It’s fine for them to try to get what they think they deserve, but you can’t strong-arm a big market team that isn’t desperate to sign you. It just doesn’t work.

CC Sabathia was able to strong-arm the Yankees last season because the Yankees were desperate to sign him. Their entire offseason last year was based on signing Sabathia. That is why Sabathia was able to get one more year and $20 million more out of Brian Cashman.

If a big market team is not desperate to sign you, then they will just find other options. The Red Sox found Mike Cameron and the Yankees now have found Johnson.

Johnson is more than an adequate replacement for Damon in the Yankees’ lineup. Johnson will serve as the primary DH and hit second for the Yankees in 2010 and it looks like Melky Cabrera will be the Yankees’ left fielder.

Johnson hit .291 with eight home runs and an .831 OPS in 133 games for the Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins in 2009. By comparison, Damon hit .282 with 24 home runs and an .854 OPS in 143 games for the Yankees last year.

So for $7.5 million less than what Damon was asking for ($13 million, the same amount he made last year), the Yankees got a very comparable player.

Johnson played three years for the Yankees from 2001-2003 and has played eight seasons in the major leagues. He has a career .402 OBP, which is ninth amongst active players.

And for those of you who are concerned with the loss of Damon’s power in the Yankees’ lineup, remember, Damon’s power surge in 2009 was greatly influenced by the joke that is the new Yankee stadium.

Johnson could hit 10-15 homeruns in that ballpark.

Last year, the Yankees paid Hideki Matsui and Damon a combined $26 million. Their replacements in 2010–Curtis Granderson and Johnson are making a combined $11 million.

The Yankees could get more value out of Granderson and Johnson both offensively and defensively than they did out of Matsui and Damon and in the process save $15 million.

Not a bad deal for the Yankees.

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

With The Events Of The Last 24 Hours, Met Fans Grow More Angry

December 15, 2009

It’s getting ugly for a baseball team in New York and it’s not the New York Yankees.

With the John Lackey signing and the potential Roy Halladay trade (I say potential because it is not official yet) taking place yesterday, New York Met fans are up in arms. Met fans are growing angrier by the minute.

Going into the offseason, I thought there were three teams whose offseason was more important than the other 27 teams–the St. Louis Cardinals, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the Mets.

I’ll take it one step further with the Mets. I am going to say this is the most important offseason in the history if the Mets franchise.

Minaya failed to make a splash this offseason

The Mets need this offseason to wipe away the anger that Mets fans have towards this team after what happened last season. For most teams, the fan base gets frustrated with what the team does.

In the Mets case, their fans have a physical hatred toward this front office and ownership group. The Mets right now are viewed by their fans as a Mickey Mouse franchise.

Between what happened on the field last year, all the injuries, the Mets’ medical staff not being able to diagnose the injuries, the Tony Bernazard incident, the Omar Minaya-Adam Rubin incident, and all the issues with the new stadium the Mets were considered a joke last season.

Mickey Mouse franchises don’t work in New York. Just ask the New York Islanders.

The Mets needed to make a splash, not only to appease their fan base, but to help sell corporate tickets. Corporations aren’t going to buy season tickets or luxury suites to watch a mediocre Mets team in this economy when the Yankees are in town putting out a better product.

The splash the Mets needed to make was acquiring either Lackey or Halladay.

The Mets have an extreme pitchers park. The Mets need to be built on pitching, pitching, and more pitching.

The Mets could have sold or marketed Lackey or Halladay along with Johan Santana as the best one-two punch in the National League.

That would have sold tickets. That would have gotten people excited about the Mets because as we all know–pitching wins championships.

I don’t know if signing Jason Bay, Bengie Molina, and let’s say Jon Garland is going to help the Mets sell tickets in 2010. While Bay is a good player, he has zero marketing ability.

The Mets can try to sell people with the addition of those three players, plus a healthy Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, they will be contenders in 2010. It’s a nice sales pitch or marketing ploy, but I don’t think the Mets fans are buying it.

Mets fans are too smart for that.

I don’t know what the rest of this offseason holds for the Mets. But what I do know their opportunity to make a splash this offseason went out the window with the events that took place yesterday.

The anger is only growing in New York.

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

Red Sox Officially End The Jason Bay Era, Sign Mike Cameron

December 15, 2009

The Boston Red Sox signing of John Lackey earlier today symbolized a coffin for the Jason Bay era in Boston. Tonight, the Red Sox put the final nail in that coffin and the final nail in the Jason Bay era in Boston.

The Associated Press is reporting that the Red Sox have signed OF Mike Cameron to a two-year, $15.5 million contract. Cameron will either play center field or left field for the Red Sox in 2010.

Cameron is the newest Red Sock

With the Cameron signing, the Red Sox have now signed my biggest bust of the offseason (Marco Scutaro), my best free agent pitcher (Lackey), and my best value signing (Cameron). And something tells me they aren’t done yet.

Let me talk about Bay here for a second. I like Bay. I thought he came to Boston in a very, very tough situation trying to replace Manny Ramirez and he handled himself better than I ever thought he would.

We will never know if he really wanted to stay in Boston. If he did, then he handled his position completely wrong. You can’t play hardball with a big market team who isn’t desperate to sign you. That just doesn’t work.

If Bay didn’t care about staying in Boston and just wants the most money possible (it sounds like that is the case) then he is doing the right thing. I don’t blame Bay for wanting the most money possible.

If some team wants to give him five years and $75 million then that’s fine. But as Theo Epstein has shown throughout his tenure in Boston, no one player is bigger than the organization–just ask Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, and Johnny Damon.

As for Cameron, this is a very good value signing by the Red Sox. Yes, I know Cameron doesn’t hit for average and yes I know Cameron doesn’t walk–which almost seems like a mandatory requirement for any Red Sox player–but there a lot of things that Cameron does very well.

Did you know that Cameron had a higher WAR than Bay did last year? That is fascinating. Cameron had a 4.3 WAR and Bay had a 3.5 WAR.

The reason for this? Defense.

Cameron is a superior defensive player. If there is a theme with the Red Sox this offseason, it’s that they are trying to improve their defense across the board.

Improving the defense is the reason they want to trade Mike Lowell, who is a statue at this point in his career and improving the defense is the reason for the Cameron signing.

Cameron will either play left or center in 2010. I would leave him in center and move Ellsbury to left because Cameron has the better arm.

Cameron will be 37 in January and shows no signs of slowing down defensively. I am confident he can cover the space between center and right center in Fenway.

On offense, Cameron is not a liability in the lineup. He will hit around .255 to .265 with 25+ home runs and an OPS around .780. For a guy who is going to probably bat seventh in the Red Sox order, that is not bad at all.

The Red Sox had a very busy today and I am confident in saying they are not done yet. There is still a third baseman or first baseman to be had this offseason.

What ever the Red Sox decide to do in the future, one thing was sure about today–they got better on the mound with Lackey and on defense with Cameron.

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

John Lackey Heads To Boston For A Physical; Deal Pending

December 14, 2009

When I woke up this morning, I had two things–I had a job and I had the idea to write a post titled–“If Jason Bay “Moves On,” What Will The Red Sox Do?”

By 2:00 in the afternoon, I was told I no longer had a job–at least until after December 31st and the Red Sox have perhaps already figured out how they are going to replace Jason Bay.

To be honest, not having a job after Dec. 31st, really doesn’t bother me that much. It clearly bothers my parents more. I guess even after you turn 30, parents will always be parents.

But not having a job will allow me to write more about baseball, which I have figured out is my real passion in life, start running again (between working and writing, I have gained a couple of pounds as my grandma pointed out last night), and of course find a better opportunity with a better company.

While I might be out of a job, John Lackey might not be out of a job for much longer.

Lackey is headed to Boston

According to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse, Lackey headed to Boston for a physical today and according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Red Sox and Lackey have a five-year, $85 million deal in place.

This is a very, very good move by the Red Sox.

Lackey is by far the best pitcher on this free agent market. I have always been a fan of Lackey and it’s not because he has seemingly been on my fantasy team every year for the past 10 years.

I think he is a workhorse, he is a gamer, and he is one of the toughest competitors in baseball. To get him for the same amount the New York Yankees gave AJ Burnett is a pretty good deal in my opinion. I always considered Lackey to be the better pitcher.

I think teams being concerned with his injury history is just silly.

He has never had major surgery on either his elbow or shoulder. Yes, he has been on the DL a couple of times over the last two years, but if I had a dollar for every pitcher who went on the DL during the course of the season, I would be a millionaire.

As I wrote in my free agent primer, the same people who say Lackey is injury prone are the same people who said Adrian Peterson was injury prone coming out of Oklahoma. It’s kind of silly.

The Red Sox figure if they lose Bay, their offense will take a hit. So if the offense takes a hit, why not improve other aspects of their team. The Red Sox counteract their weaker offense by having a dynamic starting rotation.

The Red Sox could go into 2010 with a starting rotation of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, and Daisuke Matsuzaka. That my friends, is as good as it gets.

I say “could” because the potential signing of Lackey does give the Red Sox options in their starting rotation. They could make Buchholz available to trade for a bat like Adrian Gonzalez.

As for how the Red Sox are going to fill their hole in left field? I think they have a couple of options.

I don’t think there is room in the budget for Matt Holliday and I don’t think the Red Sox were all that crazy about him to begin with. They could give Jeremy Hermida first crack and hope that he finally realizes the potential that once made him one of the top prospects in baseball.

The Red Sox could also sign someone like Mike Cameron for one-year and move either him or Jacoby Ellsbury to left.

The Red Sox have figured out a way to replace Bay by getting better in another area. Now I have to find a job and like the Red Sox hopefully improve myself.

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

Arbitration Roundup

December 2, 2009

For those of you who are not aware, yesterday at 11:59 pm est was the last day at teams could offer their free agents arbitration. Once a team offers arbitration to a player, that player has until Dec. 7 to accept.

A team would offer arbitration to a player–especially to a Type A or a Type B free agent because that team then would receive draft compensation as a result of that player signing with a new team.

A great example of this is what we saw this morning.

Since Billy Wagner signed with the Atlanta Braves and he was a Type A free agent who was offered arbitration, the Boston Red Sox will receive the Braves’ first-round pick (20th overall) and a supplemental pick in 2010.

Here is a list of the players who were offered arbitration by their current clubs. This list is courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors.

Type A Free Agents (10 players)

Chone Figgins

Figgins was offered arbitration by the Angels

John Lackey
Jose Valverde
Marco Scutaro
Mike Gonzalez
Rafael Soriano
Matt Holliday
Billy Wagner
Jason Bay
Rafael Betancourt

Type B Free Agents (13 players)

Justin Duchscherer
Rod Barajas
Joel Pineiro
Mark DeRosa
Adrian Beltre
Ivan Rodriguez
Marlon Byrd
Brian Shouse
Gregg Zaun
Jason Marquis
Brandon Lyon
Fernando Rodney
Carl Pavano

Yesterday was a good day for guys like Bengie Molina, Jermaine Dye, LaTroy Hawkins, and Kevin Gregg, who are all Type A free agents. Since these players were not offered arbitration and will not cost a first-round draft pick, they become much more attractive for teams to sign.

My predictions are that Molina ends up with the New York Mets and Dye ends up with the San Francisco Giants.

Yesterday was a bad day for a player like Rafael Betancourt. With him being a Type A free agent and offered arbitration by the Colorado Rockies, he is going to have a hard time finding work.

It’s hard to justify giving up a first-round pick for a middle reliever, who has been up and down for much of his career. My guess is he ends up back with the Rockies in 2010.

After Dec. 7, we will start to see the dominoes start to fall in the free agent market.

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