Jason Bay Signs With Mets

Photo Courtesy of SonsOfSamHorn.net

Jason Bay, one of the two premier free agent hitters along with Matt Holliday, has agreed to a four-year, $66 million deal with the New York Mets. Bay had rejected a four-year, $60 million offer from the Red Sox earlier during the regular season as well as during the offseason and his market never developed fully. After originally seeking a deal with a guaranteed fifth year with a value of nearly $20 million a year, Bay relaxed his demands once he realized that the market just wasn’t there. The Mets still tossed in a $14 million option as a fifth year for Bay pending that he reaches a certain number of plate appearances (avoiding serious injury). Including that year, the deal comes out to $16 million a season. 

Considering Mark Teixeira received an eight-year, $180 million contract last season, Bay’s deal would seem to be a steal for the other New York team. Here is Teixeira’s stat line from 2008 before he signed that mega-deal and Bay’s stats from last season:

  ABs Hits 2B HR RBI BB   SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Teixeira 574 177 41 33 121 97 93 .308 .410 .552 .962
Bay 531 142 29 36 119 94 162 .267 .384 .537 .921

Those are pretty similiar statistics and Bay is only a year older than Teixeira was last season. The economy slashed contracts slightly, but the gap between Bay’s deal and Teixeira’s is still massive. The first reason is defense. Teixeira is a very good defensive first baseman while Bay is below-average for a left-fielder. In the cavernous Citi Field, Bay’s defensive woes will be more pronounced. On the offensive, playing at Citi Field will certainly bring down Bay’s numbers, especially considering Bay played in the friendly confines of Fenway Park last season. Add in the fact that Bay is a very streaky player and the Mets need a consistent bat and the deal does not look so great. Continue reading “Jason Bay Signs With Mets”

2009 AL All Star Starters

With just a couple days left for fans to vote for the starters of the 2009 MLB All Star Game, it’s time to look at which players deserve that honor. First up, the American League:

Catcher: Joe Mauer

This one is easy. Mauer leads all American League catchers in Batting Average, Home Runs, RBI, Runs, Hits, On-Base-Percentage, and Slugging Percentage. He’s made just one error on the season and has thrown out 9 of 26 batters who have tried to steal against him. The one negative for Mauer is that he missed the first month of the season with an injury. That just makes Mauer’s stats all that more remarkable as he leads all AL catchers in all those categories despite many fewer at-bats.

First Base: Justin Morneau

One of the tougher choices in the AL, First Base has many deserving players. Kevin Youkilis leads the league in OBP, 38 points higher than Russell Branyan who is in second place, but has just 12 home runs and 42 RBI on the year. Carlos Pena leads with 23 home runs, but sports just a .238 avergae. Mark Teixeira has 20 homers and 60 RBI, but just a .276 average. Only Justin Morneau is complete in all the stats with 18 home runs, 63 RBI (most amongst first basemen), and a .309 Batting Average. His .389 OBP is 5th between AL first baseman and his .960 OPS is 4th. He has made just one error this season and has the second highest Zone Rating amongst AL first basemen. Continue reading “2009 AL All Star Starters”

Bye Bye Manny

The Major League Baseball Trade Deadline seemed to have passed at 4 pm yesterday without any blockbuster deals, but then all of a sudden, reports started coming in that Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez had been traded to the Dodgers in a six-player deal. So much for no blockbuster deals. While Manny goes to Los Angeles, the Dodgers shipped out prospects Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris and the Sox sent Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss to Pittsburgh. In return for all that, the Red Sox got left fielder Jason Bay from Pittsburgh. So that’s the trade, but what does it all mean?

It means the Dodgers just became the favorite in the NL West. It means the Red Sox finally unloaded Ramirez, though it took two prospects and $7 million dollars for any trade to work. It means the Pirates got four valuable prospects and shed salary at the same time. It means everyone wins, though some more than others. Let’s begin with the Sox, who just traded one of the best players in baseball. How can this deal possibly make them better? Continue reading “Bye Bye Manny”