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Why would the Sox be back in on Jason Bay?

Dec 24, 2009, 9:00 AM EDT

Given that the Red Sox are reportedly making another pass at Jason Bay (or Matt Holliday) despite having the outfield seemingly covered with Ellsbury, Drew and Cameron, what does it tell you about their confidence that David Ortiz will be a productive part of the lineup next year?  Last season when Big Papi took his giant swoon, they had no one else around, so they had to keep running him out there. Could having Bay or Holliday in the fold mean that they’d rather have one of them — or J.D. Drew — DHing?  Whatever the case, I wouldn’t necessarily bet my pension on Ortiz returning to All-Star form, so maybe getting another bat makes sense.

Obligatory alternative theory for Red Sox fanboys: getting Holliday or Bay would free up Ellsbury to be dealt to San Diego as part of a package for Adrian Gonzalez. No, I do not think that will happen, but one of the first comments would likely suggest it, and I wanted to preempt it.

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 24, 2009 at 9:15 AM

    From what I heard, Ellsbury is too far along the path to Arb that the Padres don’t want him, that they prefer a younger talent like Westmoreland.
    /could be wrong.

  2. John from Concord - Dec 24, 2009 at 9:20 AM

    Dealing Ellsbury would cause a riot in Boston. Not that that would stop Epstein, but all things being equal it might give him pause.

  3. A F MELLO - Dec 24, 2009 at 9:45 AM


  4. Ladyfan - Dec 24, 2009 at 10:02 AM

    May the heavens deliver us from EVER having to settle for J. D. Drew as a DH. If there is anyone in the entire league that you should NOT want coming to the plate with men on base, it would HAVE to be J.D. I was hoping they would somehow unload him completely this year, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. As for Ellsbury, he’s maybe the best or second best centerfielder in the league, I can’t imagine the team without him. But I can certainly imagine the team without Big Papi . . . .we were, in essence, without him all last season.

  5. Stew - Dec 24, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    Papi not the same without “the juice”. But he got his money and the Sox got a Championship. It’s all good.

  6. JA - Dec 24, 2009 at 10:06 AM

    The Red Sox WILL NOT trade Ellsbury, let’s get that out of the way.
    And Ortiz was a dissapointment up until after July, then he had the 2nd most homeruns in baseball after the break. He had wrist surgery during the off-season last year and it took awhile to recover from that, especially being a hitter.
    Now, as far as Jason Bay goes. The Red Sox are done with him. These rumors about them going back after him are insane. He wants too much $ to be a .260 hitter and a mediocre outfielder. If we can get Holliday, that would be an improvement, however, I can’t justify giving him 90% of what Texeira makes. He’s just not that big of a difference maker.
    We need a 1B, sure, but having the flexibility of Youk and V-Mart, along with Kotchman and Lowell seems to be what they are willing to go forward with.

  7. Jason Giambi - Dec 24, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    I know what you mean. It is just do difficult to get to your former levels without help.

  8. wyliecoyote - Dec 24, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    Ellsbury needs to be traded.
    He is going to arbitration .
    Get rid of him while you can get something in return.

  9. Purple People Eater - Dec 24, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    The OLD TIMERS LEAGUE? Do you even follow baseball or just read crap on a sports page from the dribbling idiots who call themselves writere? Maybe you should check the starting roster, like, Pedroia, Youkalis, Bucholtz, Ellsbury, Tazawa, Lester, etc, etc. True there are some older members, like Lowell or Varitek, but you are hard pressed to say from their numbers and contributions that they shouldnt be on the field. Ortiz should have seen his last at bat in a Red Sox uniform. Not because he is old, but because he cant hit the ball like he used to. Not even close. I love Ortiz as a Boston fan for his contribution to our success, but I can not hold to on the memories to field a team. I would give him a standing ovation for leaving and will cringe if he shows up on the field this year.

  10. todd - Dec 24, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    There is no way Theo would send Elsbury packing…he needs the speed and the OBP JB provides. I think he should consider outsting JD Drew. He is been marginal at best and is not built for the long season. If it’s not his back it always something else. Though I like Bay he does strike out 30% of his at bats and swings at pitches my seven year old Daughter wouldn’t swing at. So if Bay does come back he should hit the cages more! I thinlk Papi will be much better this year than last. Let’s face it the Baseball Classic has some huge effects on the Sox.

  11. James - Dec 24, 2009 at 11:13 AM

    Does anyone remember that Papi lead the league in home runs in the 2nd half last year?? Do we forget this? Papi is going to be just fine next year. Yeah right…
    If our pitching doesn’t carry this team then we are doomed…

  12. sanderbear - Dec 24, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    Sox would do better to get a cheap extra 1B/LF, like Josh Willingham. Giving up key young players/pitchers for Gonzalez is not a good idea. 1Bs are easy to get — and also, a year from now, Lars Anderson may have turned things around and be perceived as nearly ready to be a star.

  13. CommonNow - Dec 24, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    Still no bats for Beantown… the future is looking bleak. Sell your tickets now while you can. An almost ran team is only worthy of livingroom viewing. Getting Bay to stay only keeps the team where it is – average. Losing Bay puts the team back 2 steps.

  14. willmose - Dec 24, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    The only thing wrong with Big Papi last year was Manny not hitting behind him. It’s a non-linear thing so the Bill James and Boston FO stat boys don’t get it.

  15. Ed - Dec 24, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    and your source for all this inside information is?

  16. Zodiac - Dec 24, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    I don’t understand the knock on Bay’s fielding. In 150 games in 2009, he had no errors. Holliday had 5 errors in 156 games.

  17. JohnfromtheCape - Dec 24, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    Sox have no choice but to trade Ellsbury. He’s represented by

  18. Rick - Dec 24, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    If they re-sign Bay, Ortiz goes to first, Youk goes to third, and Bay becomes a DH. Lowell will be sent somewhere is my guess. Even if they keep Lowell, they would have a lot of flexibility and depth.

  19. Joe - Dec 24, 2009 at 1:33 PM

    No matter what you do….Yankees take 1st Place. Yankees go to the World Series. Yankees WIN World Series.

  20. Dean - Dec 24, 2009 at 1:57 PM

    Ortiz playing first base? I cringe whenever they do that during interleague play, no way can he be an everyday first baseman. There is a reason you dont see his name on the all-star ballot anymore for 1B, he is not quick enough!

  21. Click - Dec 24, 2009 at 2:01 PM

    You think playing Ortiz at first gives the Red Sox flexibility? You’ve GOT to be joking! Does he even own a glove? The pitching staff would be really thrilled to have Big Sloppi playing defense….NOT!

  22. JacobyGIrl - Dec 24, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    don’t trade Jacoby! Ortiz will be fine if he can pay a visit to Jerry’s Remy son the Red Sox steroid dealer. check out his picture here: that is one steroids guy!

  23. planktondisciple - Dec 24, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    The Sox are not done with Papi. Yes he had a horrible swoon the first 2 1/2 months, but from that point until the end of the season he was at or near the top in hrs and rbis … all w/o Manny.

  24. Cru11 - Dec 24, 2009 at 2:28 PM

    The only reason Bay has less errors than Holliday is because of his lack of speed. A player cannot be charged with an error if he’s nowhere near the ball. i.e. Bay tracking a ball in the gap and being 15 ft away from it when it lands vs. Holliday tracking the same ball and making a diving attempt to catch it.

  25. Bob - Dec 24, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    Holliday is not much better in the field. Case in point during the NLDS vs the Dodgers Holliday “lost the ball in the lights”. Maybe he lost in the lights. Maybe not. He only had 1 assist this year with STL.

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