Dec 21, 2009, 11:55 AM EST
So what happens if Jason Bay actually decides not to sign with the Mets? Well, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post general manager Omar Minaya would then turn to a second-tier free agent outfielder like Jonny Gomes.
Gomes was non-tendered by the Reds earlier this month because they’re too cheap to give him a raise via arbitration after the 29-year-old hit .267/.338/.541 with 20 homers in just 314 plate appearances. He makes the most sense as a platoon partner for a left-handed-hitting outfielder–for instance, J.D. Drew in Boston–but Gomes may indeed prefer New York if the Mets are willing to let him play every day.
Tons of strikeouts and the subsequent tendency to go into prolonged slumps against right-handed pitching have always limited Gomes’ playing time, but in 513 career games he’s knocked lefties around to the tune of 274/.369/.517 and even his .224/.311/.448 line against righties is somewhat productive. By comparison, during his career Bay has batted .284/.397/.537 against lefties (which is six percent better than Gomes) and .278/.370/.514 against righties (17 percent better than Gomes).
Bay is obviously better than second-tier guys like Gomes, but is he $70 million better?
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