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”