The Bay Platform: A dead-end, if ever.
Since they have not released him, it is apparent that the Mets think Jason Bay has a future. However, it’s impossible for those of us who don’t personally owe him at least $19 million to get that same opinion by watching him in the present. So, the only thing left to do is examine the past and hope that there’s someone in baseball’s rich history that we can point to as an example of bouncing back.
Unfortunately that person doesn’t exist. I searched for corner outfielders with at least 1,000 PA in their age 31-33 seasons with an OPS+ of 95 or worse. This covers Bay’s time with the Mets, in which he has 1,105 PA and an OPS+ of 91. I sorted the list by batting average and Bay’s .231 mark is the worst of 44 players in our sample.
Johnny Callison – 3X All-Star, finished second in the MVP voting in 1964. In his age 34 season he posted a 22 OPS+ in 142 PA.
Von Hayes – Finished 8th in the MVP voting in 1986 and made the All-Star team as a 30-year old. Retired after his age 33 season, when he put up a 78 OPS+ in 350 PA.
Joe Rudi – Two-time MVP runner up, he left the A’s to sign a free agent contract with the Angels and was only a shadow of his former self, in part due to injuries. Rudi played two seasons after age 33 and put up a .200/.278/.340 line in 358 PA.
Jeffrey Leonard – Two-time All-Star who was also a down ballot MVP candidate in two other seasons. In his age 34 season he posted a .251/.305/.356 line in 525 PA in his last season in the majors.
...It’s pretty sad when Leonard and his .661 OPS is the upside in your group of peers but that’s what the Mets and Bay face if they have a reunion in 2013. Sandy Alderson was able to convince the Wilpons to cut the cord with both Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez when they had a year remaining on their contracts and were owed $18 million. That was the right decision then. There’s little doubt that cutting Bay is the right decision now. Let’s see if Alderson and the Wilpons can use their own history to make the Mets’ future better.
Posted: September 12, 2012 at 04:59 AM | 9 comment(s)
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