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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Jason Bay and Mets agree to part ways

Free Bay - It’s like eBay only free

Jason Bay and the New York Mets today announced a negotiated early expiration of his contract.  The agreement provides Bay his unconditional free agency while the Mets gain roster flexibility.  Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Jason is a great teammate, hard worker, stand-up guy, and true gentleman,” said Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon.  “Like Jason, we had planned for the kind of production here that he enjoyed in Boston and Pittsburgh, where he established himself as one of the game’s top players.  We wish Jason and his family success and happiness in the future.”

“Jason has a tremendous work ethic. There was never any question about it,” said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson.  “Unfortunately, the results weren’t there and we are in a results-oriented business.  We thank Jason for his efforts and wish him well.”

“I still feel I have plenty to give to this game and that I can play baseball at a high level. But after serious consideration, both sides agree that we would benefit from a fresh start,” said Bay.  “I’m grateful we were able to reach an agreement to allow that to happen.  I’m excited to keep playing and have no intention of just walking away.  I enjoyed my time in New York.  I have no regrets in signing with the Mets, other than that I wasn’t able to play to the level that the team, the fans and I all expected and that we weren’t able to win more games. I move on with nothing but an appreciation for the organization and its fans and best wishes to all my teammates there.”

Repoz Posted: November 07, 2012 at 02:50 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4297062)
Hallelujah!
   2. JJ1986 Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4297067)
"Negotiated" meaning the Mets got absolutely nothing.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4297071)

So Bay will make more money next season because he sucked than he would have if he had excelled.

Cost himself a ton in the long run, sure, but not in 2013.....


   4. formerly dp Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4297076)
I like this move, but still, $21 M is a lot to pay a guy not to play for you. With Duda now out for a while, the Mets are going to need warm bodies in the OF pretty badly.
   5. Swedish Chef Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4297077)
"Negotiated" meaning the Mets got absolutely nothing.

Oh no, Bay picked up the tab for the lunch.
   6. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4297082)
He's getting 21M?
   7. Swedish Chef Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4297089)
He's getting 21M?

Bay's owed $16M for 2013 and a $3M buyout for 2014.
   8. SteveM. Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4297091)
I though this was an Onion article at first. Maybe the Mets struck a Bobby Bonilla type of deal with him because that worked out so well.
   9. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4297098)
Bay's owed $16M for 2013 and a $3M buyout for 2014.

Right, so why the extra 2M?
   10. Eric P. Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4297099)
The other $2M is signing bonus money that for some reason hasn't been paid yet. Also, Joel Sherman's got a tweet up saying some of the cash is going to be deferred.
   11. RJ in TO Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4297104)
Worse contract: Darren Dreifort or Jason Bay?
   12. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4297106)
Thanks, Eric. That makes more sense now.

   13. Toolsy McClutch Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4297109)
Jason Bay has been a great player at points, and solid at others. Wha happened? Career OPS of OPS+ of 122! Only 34!
   14. RJ in TO Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4297116)
I had absolutely no idea Bay was such a successful base stealer. 92/16 SB/CS for his career, including 26/2 as a Met.
   15. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4297131)
Why does this timing benefit the Mets? If he's DFA'd in season, they would probably get a prospect for him or something.
   16. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4297132)
The other $2M is signing bonus money that for some reason hasn't been paid yet. Also, Joel Sherman's got a tweet up saying some of the cash is going to be deferred.


That Jason Bay-Bobby Bonilla outfield will make the Mets a force to be reckoned with in 2030.

EDIT: Coke to Steve M.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4297133)
Why does this timing benefit the Mets? If he's DFA'd in season, they would probably get a prospect for him or something.


They are presumably saving a little money with this agreement. It is likely that if they DFA him at some point in the future, no team will offer anything in trade for him and so he would get released with the Mets on the hook for the entire amount on the contract.
   18. Swedish Chef Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4297143)
Why does this timing benefit the Mets? If he's DFA'd in season, they would probably get a prospect for him or something.

A roster spot is a useful thing.
   19. zonk Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4297147)
I sorta know how Bay feels... Mila Kunis agreed to part ways with me, but all I got was a retraining order.
   20. slothinator Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4297149)
A roster spot is a useful thing.


It's also a terrible thing to waste. Surely they can find someone more useful/productive than the exoskeleton of Jason Bay.
   21. Textbook Editor Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4297152)
Hmmm... How cooked is he? (I've not paid much attention.) Would he be worth taking a flier on for the Red Sox? They do lack a LF, and if it's for 1 year/cheap $ why the heck not?
   22. zack Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4297158)
Hmmm... How cooked is he?

Is ash a kind of food?
Jason Bay has been a great player at points, and solid at others. Wha happened? Career OPS of OPS+ of 122! Only 34!

Most likely multiple debilitating injuries, including shoulder problems and two concussions.
   23. RJ in TO Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4297161)
Hmmm... How cooked is he?

Last year was .165/.237/.299.

So extremely cooked.
   24. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4297164)

Hmmm... How cooked is he? (I've not paid much attention.) Would he be worth taking a flier on for the Red Sox? They do lack a LF, and if it's for 1 year/cheap $ why the heck not?

90 OPS+ over the last 3 years
47 last year
   25. billyshears Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4297173)
Jason Bay seems like a decent guy, but he will provide more value to the Mets by not playing for the Mets than he would by playing for the Mets. This way, he can at least pretend that the breakup was mutual, rather than that he was dumped.
   26. depletion Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4297186)
So this kind of guarantees he gets picked up by the Marlins or Pirates for the league minimum and hits .317 with 35 homers, 6 of which will be against the Mets.
   27. thetailor Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4297203)
Bay won't ever be good again, but I wouldn't be completely shocked if he hit .260/.340/.425 somewhere. With decent fielding that ought to be worth something, right?
   28. JJ1986 Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4297209)
So this kind of guarantees he gets picked up by the Marlins or Pirates Cardinals for the league minimum and hits .317 with 35 homers, 6 of which will be against the Mets.


I think that's much more likely.
   29. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4297296)

Bay won't ever be good again, but I wouldn't be completely shocked if he hit .260/.340/.425 somewhere. With decent fielding that ought to be worth something, right?

That would have been a 111 OPS+ in Citi last year which would certainly have value if paired with average fielding and baserunning. I have a hard time seeing Bay put up a 111 OPS+ unless it's in a small sample size or unless Citi was disproportionately sapping his bat, but I'd like to see it happen even if it's for another team. He seems like a good guy.
   30. Greg K Posted: November 07, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4297319)
Word on the street is LF is a priority for the Jays. Maybe Bay can be the new Canadian hero in Toronto!
   31. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 07, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4297322)
A roster spot is a useful thing.


I agree. So why not DFA him in the tail end of the 2012 season? Maybe an NL playoff team wanted a DH-type capable of getting hot for a week at the right time.

Or why not just send him to the minors forever and ever, putting him on the Kei Igawa program? That will cost you about the same amount of money, but there's no chance another team picks him up and he bashes you over the head.
   32. JJ1986 Posted: November 07, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4297325)
Or why not just send him to the minors forever and ever, putting him on the Kei Igawa program? That will cost you about the same amount of money, but there's no chance another team picks him up and he bashes you over the head.


They can't do that to a player who has enough ML service time.
   33. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: November 07, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4297328)
Bay won't ever be good again, but I wouldn't be completely shocked if he hit .260/.340/.425 somewhere. With decent fielding that ought to be worth something, right?

But he's not a decent fielder and he has a leg injury in his past.
   34. Nasty Nate Posted: November 07, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4297339)
I agree. So why not DFA him in the tail end of the 2012 season? Maybe an NL playoff team wanted a DH-type capable of getting hot for a week at the right time.


They could (and presumably did) have trade talks with other teams - there was no need (and only downside) to DFA him to find out if some playoff team wanted him.
   35. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 07, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4297342)
When the Mets signed Bay, I tried to convince myself he'd do a good job for them. He had been productive for the Red Sox, was relatively young, had played in the better league....But I just had a feeling my gut that he would not be good for the Mets.

He tried hard, never embarrassed the franchise, and never badmouthed his teammates. Unfortunately, Major League Baseball is a meritocracy.

I need a new handle.
   36. 'Spos lost the handle trying to make the transfer Posted: November 07, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4297353)
Maybe Bay can be the new Canadian hero in Toronto!


Didn't he become an American a while back?
   37. zack Posted: November 07, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4297363)
When the Mets signed Bay, I tried to convince myself he'd do a good job for them. He had been productive for the Red Sox, was relatively young, had played in the better league....But I just had a feeling my gut that he would not be good for the Mets.


It was a godawful contract the nanosecond it was signed, it just turned out to be much, much worse than we thought.
   38. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 07, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4297423)
Woo hoo!

I'd like them to sign Upton, but I know it's not going to happen.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: November 07, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4297431)
Worse contract: Darren Dreifort or Jason Bay?

Dreifort.

Dreifort signed his big deal in 2001 ... a long time ago now. He gave the Dodgers 200 innings of 87 ERA+ over 5 years. The deal was 5/$57. That was real money in those days. To put it in perspective, McGwire was getting $11 M in 2001; Maddux and Sosa $12.5. It was a crazy time -- not just Dreifort but Hampton and Neagle were signed that offseason.

That deal was also terrible in that Dreifort had no record as a good starter. In the 3 years prior to the contract he was 33-34 in 550 innings with a 98 ERA+ ... perfectly cromulent but he was getting paid like a top starter. Bay at least had a track record of success. The Bay contract is closer to the Chan Ho Park contract -- overpriced but at least a track record of success. Even there, for all his faults, at least Bay had one decent season for the Mets (his first) and ended up with positive WAR.

The Bay contract was bad but have a bit of sympathy for the rest of the world -- it wasn't as bad as Soriano, Wells, Zito, Crawford or as out of the blue as Werth (which is looking truly awful -- 1.6 WAR to date, 5/$99 left on the contract). We're well past the point where 4/$66 can be shockingly bad. The equivalent to Dreifort these days would be somebody signing Edwin Jackson for 7/$150 or something.
   40. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 07, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4297461)
Most likely multiple debilitating injuries, including shoulder problems and two concussions.


I should add that the hip and shoulder problems were known to be a significant issue going forward at the time the Pirates traded him to Boston. That is, in large part, why the Pirates traded him rather than extending him in the first place.
   41. zachtoma Posted: November 08, 2012 at 03:08 AM (#4297678)
The equivalent to Dreifort these days would be somebody signing Edwin Jackson for 7/$150 or something.


Except that Edwin Jackson is a much better pitcher than Dreifort was.
   42. Greg K Posted: November 08, 2012 at 03:45 AM (#4297687)
Didn't he become an American a while back?

We're usually not that picky are we?
If your father spent a weekend in Halifax as a kid I think you were eligible for The Greatest Canadian.
   43. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 08, 2012 at 05:51 AM (#4297690)
Hmmm... How cooked is he?

Is ash a kind of food?
I laughed. He simply never looks good out there. He never looks like a guy who can have a good run if things break his way. There's zero reason to think another team is going to get anything useful out of him. Sad, but true.

When the Mets signed Bay, I tried to convince myself he'd do a good job for them. He had been productive for the Red Sox, was relatively young, had played in the better league....But I just had a feeling my gut that he would not be good for the Mets.


It was a godawful contract the nanosecond it was signed, it just turned out to be much, much worse than we thought.
I think the word is 'crestfallen'. It seemed like such a typical, dumb Omar signing. A corner guy with declining numbers and an injury history. Too long, and too much money, and that's if everything went reasonably well. There was also a credible rumor the Red Sox were offering far less than the Mets eventually paid Bay, but the Mets were understood to be a lousy team to play for and had to shell out a premium. Remember when Bengie F. Molina declined to sign? Aargh.
   44. mathesond Posted: November 08, 2012 at 08:37 AM (#4297710)
Word on the street is LF is a priority for the Jays. Maybe Bay can be the new Canadian hero in Toronto!


With his concussion history, he can be the new Corey Koskie!
   45. Lassus Posted: November 08, 2012 at 08:50 AM (#4297717)
Remember when Bengie F. Molina declined to sign? Aargh.

Feature, not bug.
   46. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: November 08, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4297845)
I can't imagine he gets anything more than an NRI- who gives him guaranteed money?
   47. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 08, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4297885)
I don't think the contract was seen as a vast overpay at the time. Bay had posted a .907 OPS in his last two seasons while playing 150 games and was relatively young. It was not a great contract to say the least but was this thought as a HUGE overpay at the time?
   48. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4297975)
I think it depended on what you thought of his defense. Advanced metrics said he was pretty atrocious in LF, but with the usual uncertainty surrounding Fenway.
   49. thetailor Posted: November 08, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4298147)
#39, Walt: I think Bay is a worse contract than Dreifort. I agree with you when you say that the Dreifort contract is bigger, by far, but wouldn't part of that loss be covered by insurance? Bay has played, and has been terrible.

#47, Everyone: The Bay signing was NOT seen as a massive overpay at the time. I aggregated some reactions the day after the signing:

Metsblog said, "…i like it… i don’t love it… i mean, i don’t think the Mets will regret signing him at any point during the next four years…"
Ed Ryan from Mets Fever says, “Nice job, Omar.”
According to John, from Metstradamus, “This is a good move. In a vacuum, it’s a great move.”
On the other hand, while Mets Grrl likes Bay, she explains why her reaction was just, ‘ehhh.’
Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest explains, “When it’s all said and done, the Mets needed Bay.”

It was widely considered to be an overpay, but a necessary evil. A minor headache the Mets could deal with. Everyone was wrong.
   50. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: November 08, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4298192)
I think 48 & 49 are consistent - I was thinking in terms of reactions around here. No doubt the mainstream would have been net positive on the deal.
   51. RJ in TO Posted: November 08, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4298246)
If you want to check the reactions from here, this is a link to the original thread.
   52. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 08, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4298294)
That thread is interesting. I think the most interesting part of it is the argument about whether Bay or Lackey is the better signing. I don't know if I have an answer for that at this time (though Lackey could still pull off a good year or two).
   53. billyshears Posted: November 08, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4298295)
I note that my reaction was as follows:

If this is only 4 years, it's hard to imagine this being a major mistake, unless his offense falls off a cliff in 2010. Which probably will happen. At 4 years, I think this is a good move, and a major step forward in 2010.


Later in the thread I described the move as decent, for the price. It's also worth considering that I (and others) noted that Daniel Murphy led the Mets in HRs in 2009, with 12, so the addition of power was a bit of a necessity.
   54. Conor Posted: November 08, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4298414)
I think it's easy in hindsight to say it was a bad deal, but I disagree he was a guy with declining numbers. The 2 years prior to the Mets signing him he had a 134 OPS+ both years. He turned out to be horrible, but he was a really good hitter before joining the Mets.
   55. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 08, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4298593)
@54: If you look at fangraphs WAR rather than OPS+, Bay didn't look very good, and projected very poorly. Still, I seriously missed on recalling objections to the deal. While no one thought it was the deal of the century the range was "meh" to "good signing". In the linked thread there was all of one succinct "Overpay", and another guy who ran some ugly WAR numbers.

The bubble I was in at the time was death on longish deals for corner guys over thirty, and thought the failure to sign two starters was extreme dereliction of duty.
   56. bobm Posted: November 09, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4298656)
If you look at fangraphs WAR rather than OPS+, Bay didn't look very good, and projected very poorly.

Okay, here's fangraphs WAR.

Season    Team  WAR
  2003 2 Teams  1.1
  2004 Pirates  1.9
  2005 Pirates  6.1
  2006 Pirates  5.4
  2007 Pirates -0.7
  2008 2 Teams  3.1 (1.9 WAR in 105 GS / 1.1 WAR in 48 GS)
  2009 Red Sox  4.9
  
  2010    Mets  1.5
  2011    Mets  0.7
  2012    Mets -0.8


There seems to be a real discontinuity in Bay's performance that does not fit a clear trend.
   57. thetailor Posted: November 09, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4299038)
I wonder why we've never heard Jason Bay and steroids linked together. Because he's such a nice guy?
   58. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 10, 2012 at 05:12 AM (#4299474)
There seems to be a real discontinuity in Bay's performance that does not fit a clear trend.
Project from the last three years of Bay's career prior to arriving at the Mets, and he does indeed 'project very poorly'.

A five year deal for a 31 year old who had one year of the previous three that exceeded the yearly value of the new deal (assuming something like 1 WAR = $5m)? I'd say he 'projects very poorly'.
   59. Lassus Posted: November 10, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4299486)
Project from the last three years of Bay's career prior to arriving at the Mets, and he does indeed 'project very poorly'.

I'm really not seeing this. Your example isn't about projection, it's about WAR relative to worth. Doesn't a projection have to do with production, not comparison to whatever the free-agent market might deem someone be paid that year?

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