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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:
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”
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”
The Yankees faced the Orioles in Baltimore today and they sent C.C. Sabathia, their superstar offseason signing, to the hill. The most coveted free agent, Sabathiaarrived in New York to high expectations and in his first game of the spring, Sabathia struggled. He last just 4 1/3 innings, giving up 8 hits, 5 walks, and 6 runs (all earned) without a strikeout. That’s what the Yankees wanted.
The biggest concern for any star coming to New York is adjustment. How well will they handle the big city? The constant scrutiny? Well Sabathia better get ready for some criticism, because after that opening start, he deserves it. The New York media will jump on Sabathia about not living up to his contract. They will attack him saying, “He’s not ready for New York. Sure, he can play fine in a small city like Milwaukee, but New York is a whole different ballgame” Continue reading “Concern in New York”