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What they're saying about the Jason Bay signing

Dec 30, 2009, 8:30 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for Jason Bay headshot.jpgRemember last night when I said the Rob Neyer’s quote about the Jason Bay deal was a great example of “less is more”?  Well, I found a better example: no words that say it all.  Now here are some comments from people who weren’t quite as concise in their analysis:

  • Pete Abraham: “Look at this this way, Sox fans: Were you prepared to have Bay be the
    highest-paid player on the team? Because that is what he would have
    been.”
  • FanGraphs: The Mets can afford to overpay given their place on both the revenue
    curve and the win curve. However, this contract could really hamstring
    their situation in 2012/2013 as Bay declines, and it could also
    severely hamper the development of Fernando Martinez. This move appears
    to be one of the more significant overpays of the offseason, and it by
    no means vaults the Mets into the playoffs.
  • Joel Sherman, New York Post: Beltran didn’t really want to be a Met, but learned to like it here. So
    maybe this will work. But I have a feeling that in a few years the Mets
    will have regrets and will want to be flushing Bay.
  • Metsradamus: This is a good move. In a vacuum, it’s a great move. If you have doubts
    as to Bay’s ability to hit home runs in a large park, look at his home run chart. Check out the distances
    on the home runs, specifically on the home runs that are labeled as
    “lucky”. Even the lucky ones for the most part went 380. So don’t get
    sucked into the “Citi Field as Cavernous” line of thinking on this one.
    Citi Field was cavernous to the Punch, Judy, and Banjo hitters that
    roamed the earth in Queens last season. Visitors hit 81 home runs there
    in ’09. You know why? Because they didn’t suck, that’s why. So … easy
    does it, Sparky.
  • Amazin’ Avenue: No, he’s not Matt Holliday. Yes, the contract is kind of stupid. But
    Jason Bay is a heck of a consolation prize and one of those fabled
    “complementary players” that help Reyes/Wright reach a championship.
  • The Hardball Times: “I think the Mets won’t get their money’s worth from Jason Bay, and
    while he will help the team, he won’t have a dramatic impact on their
    pennant probabilities. That is, the extra “stretch” in money isn’t
    clearly justified here. On the other hand, Bay is a good fit for their needs, he won’t be
    blocking any star prospects and shouldn’t be a burden on the Mets’
    budget. So I’m glad they pulled the trigger on this deal.”

I’d post more of these, but they all basically break out the same way: Bay’s a good player who will make the Mets better in 2010, but he’s getting too long a deal for too much money and will likely be a millstone come 2012 or 2013.

My assumption is that the Mets are better positioned to have a bad contract on the books than a lot of other teams, and that winning now with Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Santana is the goal.  Though I’m not overly confident of the Mets’ chances to actually put it all together with that core — be it due to injuries or the lack of effective pitching beyond Santana — It’s probably the right goal. And for that reason this is probably the right signing, even if it’s not the best signing.

  1. John_Michael - Dec 30, 2009 at 8:47 AM

    While this may be mildly POOMA’d, I would tend to think this deal has a lot of revenue/fan implications. Especially considering the Yankees WS championship and off season trades, the Mets are at risk of a pretty significant rate of cross town fan attrition (no, not the hard core fans…but the casual fans that go to see games for a good time) following a 93 loss season.
    .
    All of the quotes above basically say: “meh.” If the Mets didn’t do anything, I’d bet there’d be a more significant fall off in fan fare — and it’s not like they’re on the verge of a championship season to bring ‘em back.

  2. john pileggi - Dec 30, 2009 at 8:56 AM

    2010 should be interesting. Martinez may have to jump in if there is an injury or Francouer has problems. Angel Pagan is also in the mix. There will not be an overabundance of riches. If Murphy struggles at first (assuming he is the regular there), someone may need to be trade bait or start using the first baseman’s mitt. This is indeed a team built for now, so Bay improves the short term situation. Minaya has done a decent job waiting out the market and not overextending for Lackey. But, there is still a shortage of pitching, and Wright has to get his Citifield ghosts exorcised.

  3. scatterbrian - Dec 30, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    So which is David Wright? Punch, Judy, or Banjo?

  4. Eat a Peach - Dec 30, 2009 at 3:30 PM

    hee hee

  5. Jay - Dec 30, 2009 at 9:44 PM

    So signing 37 year old Cameron to a two year contract was a better deal for the RS?? The Mets had to do this signing to save face with the fans and continue their revenue stream. A great signing from a financial standpoint. Plus Bay isn’t exactly old at 31..so he should continue to bop them for a few more years..

  6. DC - Dec 30, 2009 at 11:14 PM

    Bay has more gas in the tank than Pedro Martinez did when he signed with the Mets, but this deal will play out pretty much the same way. Good in the beginning and a liability in the long run. I understand why the Yankees overpay; at least they pursue the best players. I have a tough time figuring out why the Mets pay Yankee money without getting equivalent performance.
    Teams have started to react to the agents’ tendency to drag out the negotiations in the hope of a bidding war. Boras perfected this tactic, to the point where teams had to figure out a way to counter it. The Red Sox made their offer, take it or leave it. Bay’s agent was not able to build upon it because the Red Sox pursued alternatives almost immediately. He was lucky to avoid signing for LESS, considering he was not on the radar of any other big money team.
    One of these days, the Mets will figure out how to stop bidding against themselves.

  7. t - Dec 31, 2009 at 7:27 AM

    If everyone remembers the Mets were only 1 game out of the post season in 2007 and 2008, before the injury riddled 2009 campaign. I don’t think it will be foolish to believe that they could easily obtain the wild card this year. Trade for a solid #2 and they could make it to the NL championship and loose to Phillies.

  8. t - Dec 31, 2009 at 7:36 AM

    If everyone remembers the Mets were only 1 game out of the post season in 2007 and 2008, before the injury riddled 2009 campaign. I don’t think it will be foolish to believe that they could easily obtain the wild card this year. Trade for a solid #2 and they could make it to the NL championship and loose to Phillies.

  9. willmose - Dec 31, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    The Mets gave him JD Drew money! Just a word about Reyes. He will be at best an average player the rest of his career. Why? He has hamstring issues that will not go away. When speed is a big part of your game, bum wheels are not an asset. The time Reyes does not spend on the DL this season, will move the Mets a long with towards another 72-90 season. A hint for the visitors, hit the ball to LF.

  10. Frank H. - Dec 31, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    I’m big Mets fan since 1972 and Jason Bay with the Mets is the one of biggest mistake to take him.

  11. MaybeYesMaybeNo - Dec 31, 2009 at 11:17 PM

    The Mets should start campaigning hard to have the DH put in the NL not just for Bay but for many of their other players.

  12. dave - Jan 1, 2010 at 8:24 AM

    what would you have the do nothing bay is apiece of the puzzle,idont think he would sign with a loser.

  13. CommonNow - Jan 4, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    Dave – is English your second language? :-)

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