Mariners Insider

Bye bye to Bay (updated with reaction)

Post by Ryan Divish on Dec. 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm with 11 Comments »
December 30, 2009 8:52 am
AP photo

Most of you probably know this, but Jason Bay has agreed to four-year, $65 million contract with the New York Mets with a vesting option for a fifth year that could push it over $80 million.

There were some Mariners fans who held out hope that Bay might sign with Seattle. Bay is a native of British Columbia, he played at Gonzaga, his wife is from Kirkland and the couple live there in the offseason. GM Jack Zduriencik did have some preliminary talks with Bay’s representative, but nothing went much beyond that.

To be honest, I like Bay as a player. I thought Fenway was a perfect fit for him. But I doubted that his power translated well to Safeco Field.

Yes, the Mariners still need plenty of offense, but I don’t know that Bay would have been able to give them the production needed.  It certainly wouldn’t be the type of production he had with the Red Sox, and certainly not the production  that you would pay more than $16 million a year.

So Jason Bay can be crossed off your free agent wish list, and it might be best in the long run.

MONDAY UPDATE: Here’s some reaction to the signing, starting with Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, who was critical of the Mets.

It would have been far more prudent to save the money they guaranteed Bay on Tuesday and find a 10-cent copy shop. There, somebody could have taken the transaction record on Bay’s career, highlighted a pair of dates and illustrated the precise problem with the Mets today and, really, for the past decade.

Buster Olney writes that the criticism of Bay’ s defense was a little skewed because of his reluctance of playing balls off the Green Monster.

Joel Sherman of the NY Post writes that the Mets will regret this signing.

Instead, the Mets turned to a player who by all indications wanted to be a Detroit Lion or Los Angeles Clipper more than a New York Met. But the dollars never materialized anywhere else.

Bob Klapisch writes that the Mets still need to add more pieces besides Bay.

But until Minaya makes his next move, it’s impossible to view the Bay signing as anything other than a pleasant but less than franchise-changing transaction. In fact, the agreement gives off the scent of desperation, considering the Mets had done so little this off-season.

Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald calls  Bay’s new team “a nightmare.”

And now he signs with the Mets, a team with big-market bucks and big-market fans who expect a winner, but a team in desperate need of a good, old-fashioned organizational housecleaning.

Daniel Baberisi of the Providence Journal writes that the Red Sox will have a void left in their offense.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. rightwingrick says:

    I agree, while Bay would have been a fan favorite, his so-so defense, coupled with an injury history, and magnified by right-handed power that would NOT translate well in SAFECO, made Bay a much-too-expensive signing for far too many years for the Mariners. The M’s also have a very good LF prospect in Michael Saunders about ready, so signing Bay just didn’t make a lot of sense all the way around. Good for GM Jack Zdureincik for sticking with the plan!

  2. rightwingrick says:

    Now if he would just sign Ben Sheets or Chien-Ming Wang to fill the #3 starting pitcher hole and find some possible way to get Adrian Gonzalez at 1B………..but I think the Brandon Morrow trade to Toronto makes the Gonzalez thing all but impossible.

  3. I agree, The Mets overpaid Bay (even in baseball dollars).

  4. bigmike04 says:

    Moo you got it correct they overpay him but it because they had to, Jason Bay was rumored on that he was thinking of not taking their offer and was hoping Boston would offer a better deal than they had and seem to me the guy wanted to go back to play for Boston. NYM just overpay for an guy who can hit but lack ablility to play the field and it not going to matter as Philly has that division wrap with their rotation.

  5. Pat_riot says:

    This is a nice signing!!

    Simply because now it guarantees that the M’s will not overpay for this unproven player!! :)

    Not that Jack would anyway.

  6. Mariner010 says:

    I find this article a little funny, especially trying to use the negative stories about the Bay signing for the Mets as if to add credibility to your own opinion. Bay was one of only two difference making hitters on the market. I agree that he probably was not a great fit homerun wise at SAFECO and maybe his power would have been more like 25 homeruns, but his RBIs in the middle of the order would have been a big plus. And if his defense became an issue in a couple of years you transition him to DH. It is actually a safer signing in the AL for that reason.

    The M’s are having a great offseason and won’t question what is going on when Cliff Lee is added. Still this is a bit over the top when Bay would have given the line up depth and quality.

  7. Mariner010,
    I have no agenda and those articles were the first four or five that I found on the cursory google news search, and the final one mentions about how much the Red Sox will miss him. I figured instead of doing a whole separate post, I would just grab some stories and post them to the this post. I was surprised at how many negative columns and stories I found. He’s going to help the Mets on some level. I don’t see how he can’t.

    I agree, I think Bay’s power would be along the lines of 20 to 25 HR with the Mariners, yes the RBIs would be nice. I like him as a player. The few times I talked to him, I thought he was professional … a little quiet, but a decent guy. That being said, I just don’t believe it would be a good fit for what they would have had to pay him.

    16 million a year is too much, and I wonder how it would affect them in their efforts to re-sign Felix.

    I think the columns from the Mets writers discount Bay far too much. I believe he’ll be better than they expected.

  8. Ryan- Any update on Eric Berdard?
    Would the M’s sign him to a minor league contract?
    Personally I think he can stil be a good pitcher, if he can stay away from injury.

  9. Ryan Divish says: 16 million a year is too much, and I wonder how it would affect them in their efforts to re-sign Felix.

    That was also my point. $16 mil per is way over the top for Bay. If it was $6 mil, I’d be drooling to get him in an M’s uniform.

  10. SharkHawk says:

    The Mets have way too many misses over the years on free agent signings. I believe it started with George Foster, who last I checked they are still paying (seriously). Foster and Mo Vaughan may go down as two of the worst big money signings ever. Both done by the Mess. This one could be another.

    It’s not bad to sign a big name player. It’s bad to overpay them because you feel like you have to compete with the Yankees. The Mets need to run their organization as if they are competing with the rest of the national league, and NOT the American League team across town. They are more like the Cubs than any other organization and they can get players due to the fact that they have been a good team at times in the past. In situations like this they basically end up bidding against themselves, and that is the problem with the organization as a whole. I think the writers of these articles were simply pointing out that you can’t continue to function that way and expect to win.

  11. footballscaa says:

    SharHawk, seriously (your favorite word) didn’t you just describe the M’s situation of the past 6 years? Let the east coast teams worry about their own mess. Any more “interesting stats”? Seriously.

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