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The Mets go to five years on Bay, to meet with Boras on Holliday

Dec 16, 2009, 10:30 AM EDT

Jon Heyman reports that the Mets are getting aggressive on Jason Bay, upping their offer to five years, while also inquiring about Matt Holliday.

This is interesting in terms of leverage. On the one hand, it’s strange to see the Mets go an extra year on Bay a day after the Red Sox cut the cord on him and after the Yankees were reported to have no interest at all.  When your biggest competitors drop out of the bidding, you tend not to up your offer. The fact that the Mets did so smells like desperation to do something. Heyman suggests that there’s another mystery bidder lurking — maybe the Angels — but it hasn’t been reported anywhere, and in an age where the briefest of musings by a GM about a player is reported, it suggests that there’s no one else really on the scene yet.

At the same time, Heyman says that Omar is talking to Holliday. From the Mets perspective, it makes sense for them in that it signals to Bay that he’s not the only game in town. From Holliday’s perspective, it makes sense in that it’s a great way to use the Mets to pressure the Cardinals or someone else to prime the pot a bit more. I know, such a thing is unthinkable given that Scott Boras is Matt Holliday’s client — and that noted Boras mouthpiece Jon Heyman is reporting it — but maybe he can overcome his shyness and play Omar off of someone in the service of his client. And for what it’s worth, Buster Olney says that the Mets are merely “monitoring” the Holliday talks with St. Louis, but are “not actively involved.”  If you make me choose, I’m choosing Buster here.

Whatever is really going on, all of this comes against a backdrop of people saying that the Mets need to do something big and the Mets saying that they’re going to do something big.

So stay tuned: Omar is about to pay too much for someone.

  1. steve rudnick - Dec 16, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    the mets need to make some moves if they wants to have any chance of winning the division they need a power hitter and at least one starting pitcher who can eat up innings

  2. PhillyJohn - Dec 16, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    The Mets need to do something to catch up. The Phillies improved themselves offensively with Polanco at 3rd base and in the 2 spot in the batting order, with Victorino moving down to the 7 hole. They also improved with Halliday added to their staff and subtracting him from anyone else’s staff.
    If the Mets don’t acquire one of these two players there will be many empty seats in their ball park, unlike the Phillies who have sell out after sell out.

  3. michael klein - Dec 16, 2009 at 11:18 AM

    OMAR..PLEASE LISTEN…..
    Please sign the following to assure Met Fans appreciation:
    1.) 1st Base..Nick Johnson…Please.Please do not sign Delgado. Dan Murphy is trade bait.
    2.) 2nd Base…Orlando Hudson…Please. Please let Castillo leave.
    3.) Catcher..Bejie Molina..I know he’s up there in age, but he still a great defenive catcher. Santos is a great backup.
    4.) Left Field…Jason Bay.
    5.) Pitchers: Sign..LA’s Palida (sic). Or, Washburn, Kip Wells, Marquis
    FOR THE SAKE OF MET FANS EVERYWHERE. THANK YOU.

  4. John - Dec 16, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    Met fans have to be somewhat realistic here. The Mets have absolutely no shot at winning the division. None. The Phillies are in a different stratosphere and continue to make themsleves better. The Mets need to make themselves competitive with Florida and Atlanta (and avoid becoming Washington) before they can start thinking about the Phillies. It looks like the Phils and Mets are going in completely different directions.

  5. John Pileggi - Dec 16, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    Assuming that money is an issue for the Mets. Bay is the move to make, followed by Molina. Whatever is left then can go to a “B” level (assuming Lackey was a “A”) and perhaps one more bat. I agree with the post about Nick Johnson in terms of him being a very fine player, but he has trouble playing an entire season. WIth budget forcing a set of priorities, Bay, Catcher, and an arm.

  6. bob - Dec 16, 2009 at 12:01 PM

    problem is noone wants to come and play for the mets

  7. TigerS Boy ToY - Dec 16, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    I HAVE A BETTER IDEA THE WILPONS SHOULD SELL THE METS TO THE YANKEES BECAUSE IT IS OBVIOUS NOBODY IN QUEENS KNOWS WHAT THEY
    ARE DOING, WHY WOULD YOU EVEN OFFER A 5TH YEAR WHEN THE MAN HASN’T RESPONDED TO THE OFFER HE WAS GIVEN, BAY IS PLAYING THE METS, WHO ARE THEY COMPETING AGAINST FOR BOTH THESE PLAYERS, NOBODY.THE METS
    WILL ALWAYS BE PRETENDERS. SORRY, IT’S THE TRUTH.

  8. MetsFan - Dec 16, 2009 at 12:40 PM

    React… it’s all we do. Now we’ll overpay for someone just so we stave off a riot in Queens.
    This was a huge opportunity missed. The Phillies replaced one ace with another, that’s it. Big deal, to be sure, but the Mets would’ve ADDED to their ace. Instead, the Mets are bargain hunters, who aren’t really good at it.
    Holliday is the right choice… but we’ll “get a bargain” and sign Bay. Holliday will hit like crazy, Bay will hit .210 and we’ll come up with some excuse why, and a lame “wait-and-see” message. Then two years later we’ll be trying to get rid of him. (see “Cedeno, Roger”, “Castillo, Luis”, “Alomar, Roberto”, etc)
    Typical. Sadly.

  9. Steve Horowitz from the Joisey Shore - Dec 16, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    As a passionate lifelong Met fan since 1967, to me it’s simple: Omar needs to be fired. He’s clearly over his head and has been for a few years now. The team needs to go in a different direction and clean house with their management team including GM and eventually Manuel. There needs to be greater focus on the farm system and developing talent from within the organization, something that has been surely lacking in recent years. I totally agree with the above comments: 1) The Phillies and Mets are moving in opposite directions, while the National League Champions are improving their already great team, The Mets are… well, they’re just being The Mets, doing what they always have done under Omar, looking for bargains, trying to improve the team on the cheap 2)as a result, there will likely be a lot of empty seats at CitiField this summer. About Jason Bay, he’s just not that good and offering him a 5 year deal, is Omar out of his mind? Signing Bay to a 3 year deal is more than enough. Build into the contract some incentives. Let Bay show us he’s worth it. With the Braves signing Billy Wagner as their closer, isn’t that going to be something when the Braves come to town for all those games this season. Imagine the reaction he’s going to get from Met fans. That’s going to be ugly and bad for business. And finally, The Mets need to improve our team in a significant way, if not, it’s going to be a long summer in Flushing.

  10. Max - Dec 16, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    The discourse regarding the Mets is at an all-time low, from the bloggers, to the “journalists”, to the commenters.

  11. Craig Calcaterra - Dec 16, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    Then elevate it, Max. Seriously: what are we missing?

  12. Max - Dec 16, 2009 at 2:08 PM

    It’s not so much what’s missing as what’s drowning out the truth.
    But you know what? I’m complaining which really is only adding to the noise and I guess that’s what you were getting at. If so, you’re right. Sorry for the flippant response. I’ll do my best to contribute.
    Steve’s post says alot. I think the Mets drafting is especially at fault.
    The Mets don’t value the draft correctly at a time where prospects are as hot a commodity as they’ve ever been. You can’t put all the blame on the current front-office for the major-league team being starved for young players ready to help. Omar Minaya’s first draft was in 2005 and he inherited a shoddy farm. That being said, he’s had only one good draft since arriving. It’s obvious that ownership refuses to use it’s financial advantage in the draft. The Wagner dump also showed how little they value draft picks. You would think that after seeing Glavine’s compensation lead to their best draft in years, they would be more willing to take a gamble.
    Without even considering how good the Mets’ amateur scouts are doing, the cycle of surrendering 1st round picks, not receiving many in compensation and being unwilling to pay overslot means you’re limiting yourself before you even make your first pick.
    Why does this matter when discussing Holliday or Bay? Because the more the Mets pass on the draft, the more often they’ll have to choose between overpriced free-agent A or overpriced free-agent B. The Mets free-agent valuation is a whole other story and not a happy one but I think the main problem with this Mets offseason is that they entered it with so many needs.

  13. T - Dec 16, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    With all the injuries last year. Do you actually think the Mets can be worse then last year? Look at there record. They will improve immensly just from being healthy. Granted not divisional champs, but at least respectable. Just imagine if Derek Jeter was out all year along with Texiera, Yankees would not be champs. Not saying the mets counterparts were anything close to as good, but likewise, they are the tablesetters for the team.

  14. jeff - Dec 16, 2009 at 3:54 PM

    the mets will sign bay and overpay as usual. bay will not produce the stats to earn the money. come on omar – just give it up. you are a joke to baseball. the mets would do better with a marge schott back from the dead!

  15. Steve Horowitz from the Joisey Shore - Dec 16, 2009 at 4:56 PM

    Max is right when he says:
    …the main problem with this Mets offseason is that they entered it with so many needs.
    Up until the last day or so with his negotiations with Bay, what’s Omar Minaya done to fill the wholes up to this point? Nada! Sitting on the sidelines watching the top talent being signed up by the likes of The Phillies, Mariners, Red Sox and others. Where’s the sense of urgency?
    Jason Bay had a career year last year with a BA of .267. OK, his power numbers were good, but it’s only 1 year. Besides, haven’t we seen the Mets do this before, chase after a player, sign him to a long term contract and watch the player under perform. Enough already. The Mets seem to be the only team interested in Bay. Signing him to a 5 year deal right now, is like going to Atlantic City and rolling the dice on year 3 through 5. A 3 year deal with incentives, is definitely the way to go for a player like Bay.

  16. Doug Crawford - Dec 16, 2009 at 8:03 PM

    Mets fans you are geting a solid player in Bay who does not attract a lot of attention.Power numbers are up its Fenway remember Nomar?

  17. Fred - Dec 16, 2009 at 9:27 PM

    The problem is Madoff made off with the Wilpons’ money. There simply ain’t enough left to compete with the Phillies , Yankee, Angels, Dodgers and other premiere teams. Omar Minaya should quit before his star falls any further.

  18. proctor - Dec 16, 2009 at 10:37 PM

    money isnt everything holliday needs to sign with the cardinals and be done with it the love there players there and ny would turn on him the first slump he has

  19. Doug - Dec 16, 2009 at 11:25 PM

    Be Realistic. It is a long season and things do happen. Look at the 09 Mets. The Phillies traded Lee for Haliday. Do you think Haliday will pitch better than Lee in the post season? Is Haliday better than Johan Santana? That is a wash. The rest of the starters on both staffs are questionable. And what about the old reliable Philly bull pen? How do they feel about Lidge as your closer?

  20. Scott - Dec 16, 2009 at 11:57 PM

    They cant just get rid of Castillo. He’s got 2 years and 12 mil left on his deal. I’d love it if they could but we are stuck with him.
    I dont like Bay for 5 years or 4. 3 is acceptable.
    I’m not thrilled with Holloday either. He hit terribly in Oakland (a pitchers park) only got better with Pujols in front of him. So he will be overpaid.
    I want a good solid first basemen who can hit doubles and for avg. (not murphy hes worthless at this point) Johnson would be good for a short term fill (2 years?) until Ike davis is ready.
    No Molina at catcher. Hes old wont hit in Citi and not that great defensively. I’d rather have santos and thole share time.
    THe money should have gone for Lackey and other pitching.

  21. stickball crazy - Dec 17, 2009 at 12:47 AM

    The Mets need a first class physical trainer. Too many players get injuried. They need a starting pitcher, Orlando Hudson, Nick Johnson, Benjie Molina, and a hitting right fielder

  22. JR - Dec 17, 2009 at 6:51 AM

    The Mets need a lot more than that to compete. They have been underachieving for years. I think they need a major overhaul, a new manager, a new GM, or all three!

  23. Katewordsmith - Dec 17, 2009 at 9:47 AM

    Being objective, the Phillies –to their credit, mind you — have just made these off-season acquisitions to bury the NL East. The only competitor in the division with a real baseball market is NY. As a business seeking to sustain a profit, the Mets, in turn, MUST match the quality of the Phillies by making extreme acquisitions that involve a real investment. They haven’t. Which begs the ubiquitous question: how much did Madoff hurt the Wilpons?
    I think Bay would be a big help to the Mets. So would Bengie Molina. So would dumping Delgado and Murphy for a reasonable first baseman with a little pop in his bat. Nick Johnson, maybe?
    And what ever happened to the talk about Jason Marquis, who apparently WANTS to play for the Mets? Why in #$%@& hasn’t he been signed yet? At bargain rates, no less?

  24. jetfan214 - Dec 17, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    Why not sign both Bay and Holliday. Pay Holliday 5 years and 20 mil as well. He will be towards the end of his prime in 5 years but still with inflation he should still be able to make 15 mil after that so it works for him. Move Franceur to 1B. To get a Piniero it will cost 15 mil anyway and he really is not proven. Spend the money on offense which is what they needed last year because they left so many on base with all their singles. Go after some cheaper pitching that worse case you can use them in long relief. Marquis said he wanted to play for the Mets so maybe at below market rate

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