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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Report: Jason Bay Signs With Mets, Pending Physical

After hinting to Matt Cerrone of Metsblog that he would have a “big” update today, Mike Francessa of WFAN says the Mets and Jason Bay are close to agreeing to a deal, with a physical the only remaining hurdle. Its tough to know just how Mike was able to keep this info so tightly under wraps since last night without worrying it might leak out, so look for confirmation elsewhere. He says to expect an official announcement sometime after the weekend. There was no info on the financials provided.

Repoz Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:16 PM | 147 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, mets

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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:21 PM (#3424022)
The Mets don't have any LF in the system, and should be lining themselves up to compete in 2010 and to win in 2011. This signing makes sense in the short term, and short term is how the Mets should be thinking.

EDIT: obviously is Bay is signing for 5/100 or something, that's not good, but I'm assuming it'll be in the 4/55 range.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:26 PM (#3424028)
Reposted:

Jason Bay = Cliff Floyd, but healthy
   3. SteveF Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:26 PM (#3424029)
I'd bet on 4 years with a team option and buyout putting the total package closer to 65.

I completely agree with your point about where the Mets are in the success cycle. They really need to start having some productive drafts over the next couple years or things will get pretty ugly in 2012 and beyond.
   4. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:26 PM (#3424030)
I'm assuming it'll be in the 4/55 range.


Am I imagining things or hadn't the Mets reportedly already put 4/63 on the table?
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:28 PM (#3424031)
Also, I really didn't think the Sox would end up with a 2nd rounder for Bay. That's annoying. Looks like something like #34 and #55 or so.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:28 PM (#3424032)
Am I imagining things or hadn't the Mets reportedly already put 4/63 on the table?
Close enough. Still makes sense for the Mets at that price.
   7. Tripon Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:30 PM (#3424033)
SI_JonHeyman

i can confirm, bay and mets do have agreement. good job by mike.
   8. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:31 PM (#3424035)
Beltran better get used to covering from major ground in left-center
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:32 PM (#3424037)
Everything continues to line up beautifully for the Yankees to sign Holliday. As long as the Stein Spawn are willing to kick payroll up to $230M or so, they can have everything they want.
   10. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:34 PM (#3424038)
Heyman is confirming on twitter.
   11. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:36 PM (#3424040)
Beltran better get used to covering from major ground in left-center

Please. Beltran started 2009 with Daniel Murphy as his left fielder. He knows how that goes.

My prediction: by 2012, Bay will either be the Mets' first baseman, or he'll be some AL's team's DH/1B. Which will make this a fine deal for the Mets: two years of below-average but (barely) acceptable defense in the outfield, with Beltran to cover for him, and then his deteriorating defense won't matter.

The Mets better hope they are right about Bay being a better fit for the park than Holliday. Or at least they better be right he's a good solid fit, and that his power holds up against Citifield. Pull hitters do fine -- so he should be OK.
   12. zonk Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:37 PM (#3424042)
Might be the only 92 loss team in history for whom this signing makes a lot of sense.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:39 PM (#3424043)
How bad does Bay look out there? Is he one of those guys that looks like he's battling a hernia at all times, like Shawn Green?
   14. Repoz Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:43 PM (#3424047)
i can confirm, bay and mets do have agreement. good job by mike.

Good job? For God's sake...the three of them are nearly in bed together dragging the team down.
   15. billyshears Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:43 PM (#3424048)
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.
   16. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:43 PM (#3424049)
It can't be real. ESPN.com is not yet reporting that "sources" report and Buster Olney confirms.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:44 PM (#3424051)
Bay looks good in the field, actually - he's an athletic guy, he moves well. His big problem seems to be that he gets a slow break and takes a long time to get up to his top speed. He'll cost your team runs, but you won't get particularly annoyed about it because you often won't notice.

Bay is exceptionally nice and humble, at least publicly. Sort of a parody of a Canadian. He isn't fun to root for, per se, but he's fine enough. Hope he does well.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:47 PM (#3424052)
How bad does Bay look out there? Is he one of those guys that looks like he's battling a hernia at all times, like Shawn Green?


No, he's not that bad fielding - not a Wily Mo type clown-fielder. He is simply below average, and this stands out because as someone who is youngish, base-stealish, and thinnish.
   19. Greg Goosen at 30 Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:48 PM (#3424053)
Why didn't the Mets break this`on their own TV network instead of having a guy who broadcasts on the Yankee network?
   20. PreservedFish Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:49 PM (#3424054)
My prediction: by 2012, Bay will either be the Mets' first baseman, or he'll be some AL's team's DH/1B.


I disagree. This is unlikely.

The Omar Mets have been perfectly happy playing Sheffield, Green, and Alou in the outfield. It's not easy to get a star to switch to an entirely new position in the middle of a $60 million contract. Doesn't happen very often. And they certainly didn't sign him with the intention of trading him away in just two years.

Odds are very strong that Bay will be the opening day leftfielder in 2012.
   21. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:51 PM (#3424056)
Francesca broadcasts on WFAN, the Mets' radio flagship.

The Omar Mets have been perfectly happy playing Sheffield, Green, and Alou in the outfield. It's not easy to get a star to switch to an entirely new position in the middle of a $60 million contract. Doesn't happen very often. And they certainly didn't sign him with the intention of trading him away in just two years.

And what makes you think they're still going to be the Omar Mets in 2012?
   22. GM Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:54 PM (#3424058)
The other part of Francessa’s update was how firm Molina was on a third year, meaning the two are, thankfully, far apart.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:55 PM (#3424060)
Bay was the Mets' property for a few months back in aught-deuce.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:00 PM (#3424062)
And what makes you think they're still going to be the Omar Mets in 2012?

Well, that's fine, they probably will not be, but I can stretch back pre-Omar and point out Roger Cedeno, Bobby Bonilla, the Todd Hundley experiment, the recent Murphy experiment, or just look around the league to Dunn and Ibanez and Manny and friends. MLB managers and GMs have more patience with hobbled outfielders, especially slugging ones, than we post-UZR statnerds would like think that they should.

But really my point is pretty simple: if the Mets signed Jason Bay, leftfielder, to a 4 year deal, they probably think that he can handle leftfield for 4 years. Or, possibly, they *hope* that he can, and will give him every opportunity to fall flat on his face before they move him.
   25. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:01 PM (#3424063)
Is anyone else worried that the Met lineup is a little too righthanded? I wouldn't hate a Delgado contract on a one year incentive based deal.

Reyes
Castillo
Wright
Beltran
Bay
Delgado
Francoeur/Pagan
Crappy Catcher

That looks like a lineup that could score some runs if it stays healthy. The right side of the infield will be ugly defensively.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:02 PM (#3424064)
But Sam, if your prediction is more along the lines of "Bay will be so surprisingly atrocious in the field that the Mets will have no choice but to do something about it," I will just say that hope you're wrong.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:04 PM (#3424066)
Is anyone else worried that the Met lineup is a little too righthanded?


Are you crazy? Is anyone else worried that they do not have a pitching staff?
   28. ekogan Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:04 PM (#3424067)
yay, the rumors that the Sox will overbid for Bay turned out to be false.
   29. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:05 PM (#3424068)
This is all right for the Mets, especially in a year where their first rounder is protected. Of course, let's see the details first before proclaiming it a win.
   30. ekogan Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:05 PM (#3424069)
Joel Sherman
Can confirm that #Mets have agreement with Bay for 4 at $66M with easy vest for 5th year


Overpay
   31. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:08 PM (#3424071)
Are you crazy? Is anyone else worried that they do not have a pitching staff?

I think the Mets are going to sign another pitcher. There's the Cuban guy Maya or Pineiro, and possibly Garland.
   32. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:09 PM (#3424073)
But Sam, if your prediction is more along the lines of "Bay will be so surprisingly atrocious in the field that the Mets will have no choice but to do something about it," I will just say that hope you're wrong.

My prediction is really along the lines of: his defense will likely gradually get worse from a not-very-strong starting point. I think there is a very good chance they will have a totally different management team by the time 2012 rolls around, which might well be more willing to be aggressive in actually acting on what Omar Minaya has said he is going to emphasize in Citifield, which is strong pitching and defense, and such a team won't tolerate Bay's declining defense in LF for very long. I admit that last part, of course, is awfully speculative.

Is anyone else worried that the Met lineup is a little too righthanded?

Not really worried. They've got switch-hitters in Beltran and Reyes, and right now a likely platoon at 1B. If teams decide to load up on RHP because of Wright and Bay, I think you can expect a big year out of Carlos Beltran. That said, I wouldn't mind another strong lefty bat to encourage teams to throw some LHP in there for David Wright's sake.
   33. GM Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:10 PM (#3424074)
I wouldn't hate a Delgado contract on a one year incentive based deal.

Wasn’t there a story last week about Delgado still being unable to take part in baseball activities? I mean, we’ve already seen consecutive seasons where Delgado, after successful offseason surgeries and rehabs, was ready for spring training and still took months to find his bat speed. Do we really want to see how long it’ll take him when his rehab is actually behind schedule?
My prediction is really along the lines of: his defense will likely gradually get worse from a not-very-strong starting point.

There’s different types of bad, though, and I don’t think Bay’s defense is the sort of bad that’ll prompt management to act.
   34. Lassus Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:12 PM (#3424076)
Overpay

When exactly does underpaying or market value get you anything on the FA market?


The other part of Francessa’s update was how firm Molina was on a third year, meaning the two are, thankfully, far apart.

- does little dance -
   35. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:12 PM (#3424077)
Is anyone else worried that they do not have a pitching staff?

Oh, cut it out. Omar does these things in order! First on his list to check off was "Cheap bullpen help." Then, "Bat for line-up." We can all have faith that he will now turn his attention to the rotation, and make strong bids for John Lackey, Randy Wolf, and Jason Marquis.

Oh . . . . oops.
   36. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:14 PM (#3424078)
Do we really want to see how long it’ll take him when his rehab is actually behind schedule?

Excellent point but we are talking about replacing Daniel Murphy here.
   37. ekogan Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:15 PM (#3424079)
When exactly does underpaying or market value get you anything on the FA market?

Underpays in 2009: Nick Johnson to the Yankees, Marco Scutaro to the Red Sox. I think Chone Figgins to the Mariners was an underpay as well.
These are all above average players.
   38. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:15 PM (#3424080)
Maybe I'm an idiot (quiet - grrr..), but I really like the idea of Garland. Always thought the Angels stole him for whatsisname, the shortstop.
   39. GM Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:18 PM (#3424083)
Excellent point but we are talking about replacing Daniel Murphy here.

Are the Mets even interested in replacing Daniel Murphy, though? I figured they’d just look into signing Ryan Garko or something.
   40. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:18 PM (#3424084)
I think there is a pretty good case to be made that given the way the two clubs are set up the Sox would have been better off with Bay (pre-Cameron) and the Mets with Lackey. I say that acknowledging I wouldn't have gone 5/82 for Bay.
   41. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:19 PM (#3424085)
Maybe I'm an idiot (quiet - grrr..), but I really like the idea of Garland. Always thought the Angels stole him for whatsisname, the shortstop.

Orlando Cabrera.

Yeah, I like the idea of Garland on a two year deal but there's been some talk that he's really close to signing with the Rangers, which would be an awful fit for him.
   42. Lassus Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:19 PM (#3424086)
Oh, cut it out. Omar does these things in order! First on his list to check off was "Cheap bullpen help." Then, "Bat for line-up." We can all have faith that he will now turn his attention to the rotation, and make strong bids for John Lackey, Randy Wolf, and Jason Marquis.

Oh . . . . oops.



Oh brother.
   43. Nobody ##### with DeJesus Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:19 PM (#3424087)
ESPN says 4 years, $66 million with a vesting option for a 5th year.


EDIT: Oops. Ekogan beat me to it.
   44. NaOH Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:20 PM (#3424088)
When exactly does underpaying or market value get you anything on the FA market?

Usually when a free agent is signed to a one-year deal rather than a multiyear contract.
   45. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:20 PM (#3424089)
I think there is a pretty good case to be made that given the way the two clubs are set up the Sox would have been better off with Bay (pre-Cameron) and the Mets with Lackey. I say that acknowledging I wouldn't have gone 5/82 for Bay.

I think you are right.
   46. ekogan Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:21 PM (#3424091)
I think there is a pretty good case to be made that given the way the two clubs are set up the Sox would have been better off with Bay (pre-Cameron) and the Mets with Lackey. I say that acknowledging I wouldn't have gone 5/82 for Bay.

If both players received their fair salaries, then you would be right. However, given that the Mets were ready to pay Bay almost the same amount of money that Lackey got, the Red Sox come out ahead. And I still think that Lackey was overpaid - just much less than Bay.
   47. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:21 PM (#3424092)
I think there is a pretty good case to be made that given the way the two clubs are set up the Sox would have been better off with Bay (pre-Cameron) and the Mets with Lackey. I say that acknowledging I wouldn't have gone 5/82 for Bay.
Perhaps, but I think the Red Sox are better off with Lackey and Cameron than with Bay and, say, Jason Marquis.
   48. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:22 PM (#3424094)
I think there is a pretty good case to be made that given the way the two clubs are set up the Sox would have been better off with Bay (pre-Cameron) and the Mets with Lackey. I say that acknowledging I wouldn't have gone 5/82 for Bay.

I think you are right.


The problem with that is that there are some decent, reasonably priced pitching alternatives to Lackey (not as many as there were at one point, of course, but some). So if you end up with Bay and Marquis, or Bay and Garland, you have a better package for your off-season work than if you end up with Lackey and . . . . whom, exactly? Who was the slugging OF alternative the Mets could have gone after once they signed Lackey?
   49. billyshears Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:23 PM (#3424096)
Oh, cut it out. Omar does these things in order! First on his list to check off was "Cheap bullpen help." Then, "Bat for line-up." We can all have faith that he will now turn his attention to the rotation, and make strong bids for John Lackey, Randy Wolf, and Jason Marquis.


In fairness, the Mets signed Escobar and the Japanese guy while they were waiting on Bay.

I think the evaluation of the deal turns in large part on the particulars of the vesting option.
   50. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:25 PM (#3424097)
Usually when a free agent is signed to a one-year deal rather than a multiyear contract.

And if a guy signs a one year deal, there's usually something wrong with him. Nick Johnson is a fine player but he has played in 170 games the last three season and would have had to play defense for the Mets, making it more likely that he'd get hurt.

I am not in love with this deal and I am interested in seeing what the vesting option entails but I don't think Omar is too concerned about that. If it doesn't work out well, he'll be gone anyway.
   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:27 PM (#3424098)
Who was the slugging OF alternative the Mets could have gone after once they signed Lackey?
The Mets have a good offensive core. They don't desperately need a power bat. I think the idea would be to go out there and get Mike Cameron, like hte Sox did, and expect the defense and offense to balance out.

There isn't much behind Cameron on the OF market, though, so it's a risky path.
   52. ekogan Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:27 PM (#3424099)
Usually when a free agent is signed to a one-year deal rather than a multiyear contract.

Beyond that, this year middle infielders and more generally defense first players seem to be underpaid. Scutaro & Cameron signed for 2 years, Placido Polanco for 3, Chone Figgins for 4. They were all underpaid per win compared to Bay, Lackey & Abreu. I guess defense is still a market inefficiency
   53. AROM Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:30 PM (#3424102)
Who was the slugging OF alternative the Mets could have gone after once they signed Lackey?


Jonny Gomes?

Also, I really didn't think the Sox would end up with a 2nd rounder for Bay.


Sometimes it evens out when you're getting a first rounder for an old reliever you had for all of 10 innings.
   54. billyshears Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:30 PM (#3424103)
The Mets have a good offensive core. They don't desperately need a power bat.


Injuries and such, but Daniel Murphy led the Mets with 12 HRs last year. I get that run prevention is run prevention, but I mean, that's awful.

Edit: What I meant to say is something along the lines of run prevention is as good of run addition. Sorry.
   55. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:30 PM (#3424104)
Beyond that, this year middle infielders and more generally defense first players seem to be underpaid. Scutaro & Cameron signed for 2 years, Placido Polanco for 3, Chone Figgins for 4. They were all underpaid per win compared to Bay, Lackey & Abreu. I guess defense is still a market inefficiency
Or other people measure defense differently than does BIS-UZR. I think that calling Scutaro a significant bargain requires putting a lot more trust in one great UZR season than I am comfortable with, for instance.
   56. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:33 PM (#3424106)
The Mets have a good offensive core. They don't desperately need a power bat.

Well, that's where we pretty much part company. The Mets have a nice core, 'tis true, but they have a great need for a power bat. Even if Reyes and Beltran come back healthy, they have no real clear source of power that is well-suited to the park they've built. They need pull hitting power hitters, and they need them badly. Essentially, Bay replaces Delgado in the structure of the offense the Mets have had for the last several years. It's a design that has worked well because they have very strong on-base skills early in the order, and "hinge" players (Beltran and Wright) who combine power & prowess at getting on base, and thus both drive in those who are on base and extend the offense. But if there's no one with decent power after them, they languish. Last year, Wright languished and Beltran was hurt. If the Mets' only power after Wright in the line-up is Francoeur, the whole thing falls apart.

But anyway, they clearly now need at least one starting pitcher. The one guy that would make me cut someone's throat is Doug Davis, so they sure as hell better get Garland or Piniero.
   57. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:35 PM (#3424108)
I think Cameron will end up playing CF for the Red Sox and that's a big deal for him. I don't think he signs with the Mets because he isn't going to play centerfield for them.
   58. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:37 PM (#3424110)
I think 2009 was a fluke season. Beltran and Wright are excellent hitters with very good power. Delgado, Reyes, and Francoeur have reasonable power, as would Cameron. That's not Whiteyball out there or something. But either way, I think the Mets are doing perfectly well with Bay. Now they need two pitchers.
But anyway, they clearly now need at least one starting pitcher. The one guy that would make me cut someone's throat is Doug Davis, so they sure as hell better get Garland or Piniero.
May I ask why? Looking at CHONE-

169 IP, 4.37 ERA - Pineiro
186 IP, 4.60 ERA - Garland
167 IP, 4.69 ERA - Davis

The Mets need two more pitchers. If they get two of those three, they're in pretty good shape.
   59. ekogan Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:38 PM (#3424111)
I think Cameron will end up playing CF for the Red Sox and that's a big deal for him.

I'd rather they kept Ellsbury in center. Ellsbury needs reps to develop better instincts for reading the ball. Jerking him around from position to position will not help that. His development is more important than the couple of runs the team will save by sticking Cameron in center. Furthermore, Cameron said that he is allright with playing LF.
   60. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:39 PM (#3424112)
I think Cameron will end up playing CF for the Red Sox and that's a big deal for him. I don't think he signs with the Mets because he isn't going to play centerfield for them.
I'll be quite surprised if Cameron plays much CF, in the absence of an injury to Ellsbury. I'm sure the Sox didn't make any guarantees to Cameron, and I would bet they told him he'd be playing quite a bit of LF and RF. Anyway, this is hardly much of an issue. I like the Red Sox offseason so far a good bit better than the Mets', but the Mets aren't done, and Minaya had a far, far more difficult task in from of him than did Theo.
   61. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:42 PM (#3424115)
May I ask why? Looking at CHONE-

169 IP, 4.37 ERA - Pineiro
186 IP, 4.60 ERA - Garland
167 IP, 4.69 ERA - Davis

The Mets need two more pitchers. If they get two of those three, they're in pretty good shape.


Look at Davis's profile. He led the league last year in walks; the Mets as a team were second to the Nats in walks. They simply cannot afford to bring in yet another starter who doesn't throw strikes to a rotation that already has John Maine and -- especially -- Ollie Perez. They desperately need to utterly change that aspect of the staff, for the sake of the bullpen (both in terms of the innings their relievers throw, and the number of times they are forced to warm up because it looks like the starter will have to come out because of the multiple jams and high pitch counts). Signing Davis would position the Mets to set the all-time record for relief appearances and bullpen injuries. I will be sorely tempted to just give up on them if they sign him. Wrong guy for the wrong team at the wrong time.
   62. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:45 PM (#3424117)
Furthermore, Cameron said that he is allright with playing LF.

That changes things significantly and I apologize for basically talking out of my butt. I just remember that's what the situation was a few years ago.

169 IP, 4.37 ERA - Pineiro
186 IP, 4.60 ERA - Garland
167 IP, 4.69 ERA - Davis


Look at the bb/9. Met fans are tired of guys who give up a lot of walks.
   63. 1k5v3L Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:50 PM (#3424120)
So, if Bay hits 30 home runs this year, including 15 at Citi Field, while David Wright hits 10 home runs, including 4 at Citi, do you suppose Michael Kay will continue to claim that the new ballpark ruined David Wright and should be reconfigured? And what would Mets fans rather see, 30 homers from Bay and 10 homers from Wright, or 20 homers from Bay and 20 homers from Wright?
   64. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:50 PM (#3424121)
Look at the bb/9. Met fans are tired of guys who give up a lot of walks.
I'm unconvinced that there would be that much effect. It would be annoying to watch, which is fair, but Joel Pineiro can hardly be expected to eat more innings than Doug Davis. The problem, as Sam articulated it, is that the Mets need pitchers who will throw innings - Doug Davis throws innings. Joel Pineiro looks like the odd one out there - I wouldn't count on him to cover innings, unless you're very confident that his 2009 splits mark a real and sustainable change in his pitching.

In any case, the Mets need two more pitchers precisely so that they can get Ollie Perez out of their opening day rotation. That should save a headache or two.
   65. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:50 PM (#3424122)
the Mets as a team were second to the Nats in walks. They simply cannot afford to bring in yet another starter who doesn't throw strikes to a rotation that already has John Maine and -- especially -- Ollie Perez. They desperately need to utterly change that aspect of the staff, for the sake of the bullpen (both in terms of the innings their relievers throw, and the number of times they are forced to warm up because it looks like the starter will have to come out because of the multiple jams and high pitch counts).


TESTIFY! Get outta my head, Sam...
   66. Zac Schmitt Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:51 PM (#3424123)
I think 2009 was a fluke season. Beltran and Wright are excellent hitters with very good power. Delgado, Reyes, and Francoeur have reasonable power, as would Cameron.


I agree with this in essence, but waiting around for someone, anyone healthy to hit with some power last year was really, really frustrating.
   67. Walt Davis Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3424126)
We can all have faith that he will now turn his attention to the rotation

Sam, Sam, Sam ... Omar hasn't landed his C yet. He can't possibly think about pitching until that crippling uncertainty is resolved.

I shudder to imagine what would happen if Omar and Hendry had the same #1 priority in the same offseason with the same player in mind. The guy would get signed the morning of opening day (10 year, $272 M no matter who he is) and both teams would have only 17 guys on the roster.

MLB managers and GMs have more patience with hobbled outfielders, especially slugging ones, than we post-UZR statnerds would like think that they should.

This may or may not be true but it's got nothing to do with UZR. Plodding LF used to get moved to 1B all the time back in the day -- not necessarily exclusively but for a lot of their playing time. I'll admit, it doesn't seem to happen that much anymore -- Dunn, who else? When it does, it's probably more in the case where everyone expects the guy to be a 1B but he has to play left for a couple years because the team already has a 1B. Part of that is surely the availability of the DH -- that's certainly the destination of the AL defensive disasters.

Still, teams used to do it all the time; and it's an easy position to learn (for most); and, if we're to believe UZR, Bay isn't just below-average in LF, he's giving up 15 runs a year and that's only going to get worse. To be honest, I'm not sure the Mets wouldn't be better off moving him to 1B now and having a Pagan/somebody platoon in LF. But you're probably right and they're seeing him as LF for tne next 4-5 years and only injury would be likely to force a move to 1B.
   68. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3424127)
Does anyone remember, BTW, that the Mets HAD Bay at one point, and traded him as part of a deal that netted the Mets two pitchers who threw a combined total of 49 innings for the team? Of course, they got him from Montreal, GM'd at the time by Omar Minaya, about one month into his term with the Expos, for Lou Collier.

-- MWE
   69. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:53 PM (#3424128)
In any case, the Mets need two more pitchers precisely so that they can get Ollie Perez out of their opening day rotation. That should save a headache or two.

Is it already time to call Perez a sunk cost? He was beyond awful last year but we are talking about 66 innings in which there may have been some injury issues. I can't fault the Mets for trying to see if he can revert to his 2007-2008 level.
   70. Guapo Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:55 PM (#3424129)
After hinting to Matt Cerrone of Metsblog that he would have a “big” update today, Mike Francessa of WFAN says the Mets and Jason Bay are close to agreeing to a deal, with a physical the only remaining hurdle.


So we're just sitting on the doc of the Bay, wasting time.
   71. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:55 PM (#3424130)
Does anyone remember, BTW, that the Mets HAD Bay at one point, and traded him as part of a deal that netted the Mets two pitchers who threw a combined total of 49 innings for the team? Of course, they got him from Montreal, GM'd at the time by Omar Minaya, about one month into his term with the Expos, for Lou Collier.

Please see #23.
   72. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:56 PM (#3424132)
4 years $66MM, with easy to attain 5th year option. A little expensive.

Sherman.
   73. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:57 PM (#3424133)
So, if Bay hits 30 home runs this year, including 15 at Citi Field, while David Wright hits 10 home runs, including 4 at Citi, do you suppose Michael Kay will continue to claim that the new ballpark ruined David Wright and should be reconfigured? And what would Mets fans rather see, 30 homers from Bay and 10 homers from Wright, or 20 homers from Bay and 20 homers from Wright?


I would take the 10 HR from Wright if it's accompanied by 45+ doubles, 20+ triples and 100 walks...
   74. Lassus Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:57 PM (#3424135)
So we're just sitting on the doc of the Bay, wasting time.

Oof.
   75. 1k5v3L Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:01 PM (#3424138)
I would take the 10 HR from Wright
But won't you please think of Michael Kay?
   76. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:02 PM (#3424141)
Sherman is also reporting that the Mets are concerned about his health and that's why they haven't made any announcement yet. They're waiting to see how his shoulders look.
   77. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:02 PM (#3424144)
I'm unconvinced that there would be that much effect.

Harrumph. This coming from the guy who roots for a team that has ranked thusly in BB/9IP the last five years in the AL:

2009: 4th (3.3)
2008: 9th (3.4)
2007: 3rd (3.0)
2006: 8th (3.2)
2005: 4th (2.8)

The rankings have been up and down, but in general, those rates have been consistent and they've been fine.

The Mets, OTOH, have these rankings and rates:

2009: 15th (3.9)
2008: 11th (3.6)
2007: 10th (3.5)
2006: 6th (3.2)
2005: 5th (3.1)

Notice a trend for my team? A really bad one? This despite adding Johan Santana two years ago. You know what's happened to the team ERA during that time? Not good. Doug Davis's walk rates are -- amazingly -- even worse than the Mets as a team have been the last three years. I find it hard to believe the Mets could actually sign a guy who could make a bad situation worse, but hey -- there he is, a FA ripe for the plucking.

Bill James wrote a really great essay in one of the old abstracts about how you can have a bad defense that is still not SO bad that the team can succeed, but you can make that one signing of yet another awful defensive player who just takes it beyond the breaking point, and the whole thing just collapses. Doug Davis is the pitching/control equivalent of that point James was making. Blech.
   78. Elvis Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:12 PM (#3424150)
I would be shocked if the Mets sign two SP. I expect them to open the season with Santana, FA, Maine, Perez and Pelfrey, with Niese, Nieve, Dessens and Figueroa as backups.

Perhaps they should start the Bay to 1B move now except not as a full-time move. Instead, platoon Murphy and Francoeur, with Bay playing 1B when Murphy sits versus LHP.

2009
Murphy vs RHP: .275/.324/.430
Francoeur vs LHP: .344/.356/.521

I know it has no chance of happening.
   79. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:13 PM (#3424151)
How much different is this from the Perez contract? It doesn't appear the Mets have any serious contenders for Bay's services. I don't think Bay is in love with the idea of playing for the Mets so the Mets would probably would need to have the best offer on the table. But who else is competing?

I guess the Yankees could have swept in at the last minute to sign Bay if the Cardinals sign Holliday, or the Cardinals could have turned to Bay if Holliday signed elsewhere.
   80. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:16 PM (#3424153)
How much different is this from the Perez contract?

It may not be different in the "bidding by themselves" sense. But it is different in the "bidding for a reliable, quality player" sense. And if you're going to break one of those two patterns, I strongly favor breaking the "bid high for an unreliable basket case" approach. But maybe that's just me.
   81. Raskolnikov Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:18 PM (#3424154)
YES! Love the signing.
   82. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:19 PM (#3424158)
Yay!
   83. billyshears Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:24 PM (#3424164)
How much different is this from the Perez contract? It doesn't appear the Mets have any serious contenders for Bay's services. I don't think Bay is in love with the idea of playing for the Mets so the Mets would probably would need to have the best offer on the table. But who else is competing?


At 4/65, Bay might not have had any other suitors. At 4/50, I imagine that he would have. I always thought the criticism of the Mets for being the only suitor for Perez was somewhat foolish. The Mets were the only suitor because everybody knew the Mets' number and didn't want to beat it. Same with Bay. Does that mean the Mets overpaid? Maybe, but only by a bit in the sense that every team that signs a player with the high bid overpays. I think if teams thought they could have come in with a lower number and signed either of Bay or Perez, they would have.

Edit: In a sense, I think this may be a strength of Minaya, rather than a weakness. He put his price on the table for a player which he thought was fair, and stood by it. With both Bay and Perez, he got his guy for his price. I think the prevailing wisdom with Bay, and the prevailing wisdom at the time for Perez, was that the move was a decent one for the price. I'll say it for about the 50th time this offseason, but whatever your criticisms of Minaya may be, he does a good job of accomplishing his objectives.
   84. zonk Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:25 PM (#3424167)
We can all have faith that he will now turn his attention to the rotation


Sam, Sam, Sam ... Omar hasn't landed his C yet. He can't possibly think about pitching until that crippling uncertainty is resolved.

I shudder to imagine what would happen if Omar and Hendry had the same #1 priority in the same offseason with the same player in mind. The guy would get signed the morning of opening day (10 year, $272 M no matter who he is) and both teams would have only 17 guys on the roster.


No doubt... If Omar is as interested in Piniero as the Mets fans here think he should be, I dearly, dearly hope they win that one over Hendry.
   85. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:29 PM (#3424171)
At 4/65, Bay might not have had any other suitors. At 4/50, I imagine that he would have. I always thought the criticism of the Mets for being the only suitor for Perez was somewhat foolish. The Mets were the only suitor because everybody knew the Mets' number and didn't want to beat it.

Good point, and I guess similar to the Lowe situation for the Braves. The Mets didn't improve their 3y/36m once the Braves went to 4y/60m but probably would have had that Braves' offer had been 4y/44m or something similar.
   86. Elvis Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:44 PM (#3424184)
Count me as one Mets fan with no interest in Pineiro.

Would anyone have been interested in trading for Pineiro following the 2008 season, when he was owed $7.5 million and was coming off a 5.15 ERA? His last 12 games in 2009 he had a 4.64 ERA. Pineiro's case for a big contract rests on the first four months of 2009 when he had an unsustainable HR rate. He allowed only 3 HR in 136.1 IP. Yes, he changed his style to throw more GB but HR are still a function of how many FB you allow. Pineiro finished with a 6.5 HR/FB rate and he's just not going to do that in 2010. Here are his HR/FB rates by month last year

April - 4.3
May - 3.3
June - 4.5
July - 0.0
August - 12.5
September - 11.6

He was still throwing lots of grounders (68 percent) and his walk percentage was still outstanding (12 BB in 77.2 IP) but the gopher balls changed him from dominating in the first four months of the year to below-average in the final two months.

I think he can maintain his GB tendencies but is that going to be an advantage with the Mets infield defense? A combination of a normal HR rate, the Mets poor infield defense and even a slight increase in his BB rate is likely to result in an ERA in the neighborhood of 5.00 for him next year.
   87. metsman128 Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:48 PM (#3424186)
I'm a big Mets fan but this signing reminds me of the last time the Mets signed a Red Sox for 4 years...

That was Pedro for roughly 4/51...Wasn't exactly a fan of that then, either.
   88. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:52 PM (#3424190)
Yes, he changed his style to throw more GB but HR are still a function of how many FB you allow. Pineiro finished with a 6.5 HR/FB rate and he's just not going to do that in 2010.

If he pitches for the Mets, he's going to have a good HR/FB rate in home games, at least. If he does this as well:

He was still throwing lots of grounders (68 percent) and his walk percentage was still outstanding (12 BB in 77.2 IP)

Piniero would be just fine as a Met. The formula would be to throw a lot of grounders, don't walk many, and let the fly balls be kept in the park because of Citifield's dimensions. You might have to worry about him on the road if his fly ball rate returns to a normal one, but his possible weakness in giving up longballs on fly balls would be contained at home.

EDIT:

I should add I'm not wedded to Piniero. Garland would be fine. As long as it's NOT Doug Davis.
   89. Elvis Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:55 PM (#3424195)
If he pitches for the Metshe's going to have a good HR/FB rate in home games 


2009 Mets pitchers

HR allowed at home: 81
HR allowed on road: 77
   90. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 11:02 PM (#3424206)
2009 Mets pitchers

HR allowed at home: 81
HR allowed on road: 77


Of course, that doesn't tell us whether the HR/FB rates were higher or lower on the road or at home. And it is only one season's worth of data. I have pretty strong confidence that a park with the dimensions of Citifield is, over time, going to play as one in which it will be quite safe (relative to the rest of the league, at least) for pitchers to allow fly balls. It may not be the Death Valley for all home run hitters that some perceived it to be, but it will play as a home run-unfriendly park.
   91. Raskolnikov Posted: December 29, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3424210)
Pineiro >> Garland. This is ridiculous that anyone would see them as equivalent.
   92. Sam M. Posted: December 29, 2009 at 11:11 PM (#3424212)
Pineiro >> Garland. This is ridiculous that anyone would see them as equivalent.

Well, the Mets apparently don't, at least according to Heyman:

The Mets are still hoping to add a starting catcher and one or two starting pitchers this offseason. They have been in discussion with free-agent catcher Bengie Molina, who is their first choice at the position, but they haven't yet acceded to his request for a three-year $20-million deal. The Mets' first pitching choice among free agents is Joel Pineiro, but they also have interest in Doug Davis and Jon Garland.

As for me, I like Garland's consistent, innings-eating durability. 200 innings a year, year in and year out. That is nothing to sneeze at. Piniero hasn't been that consistent at all when it comes to giving his teams those innings. The Mets need that -- badly.
   93. bobm Posted: December 29, 2009 at 11:22 PM (#3424215)
This is different from the Perez situation in that ONE agent (Boras) controlled Lowe and Perez. Boras all but announced that the Mets had no shot at Lowe; it was Perez or nothing. Nothing was the better choice but Omar wouldn't walk away. At least Bay and Holliday have two separate agents I think, and not one puppet master pulling the strings.
   94. bobm Posted: December 29, 2009 at 11:24 PM (#3424216)
Also, how hard is it to pass a Mets physical? Dr. Seuss would have done a better job as Mets team doctor of late.
   95. Elvis Posted: December 29, 2009 at 11:31 PM (#3424220)
Pineiro >> GarlandThis is ridiculous that anyone would see them as equivalent


I agree with the second part of this statement but I would much prefer Garland. As Sam has pointed out, Garland has been much more durable. He's also been much more consistent. Pineiro has three seasons with an ERA worse than Garland's career high of 4.90, which was significantly higher than his next-worse mark (4.58).

Also, Garland pitched much better than last year's numbers show. He got knocked around his first few starts in Chase Field. He had a 5.29 ERA in Chase Field and a 3.13 ERA everywhere else. And the trouble in Chase Field came early -- he had a Quality Start in five of his last six starts in Chase Field, including one game when he was a visiting pitcher with the Dodgers.

If Garland signs with an NL club, I expect his ERA to be a full run lower than Pineiro's in 2010.

Also, in regards to post #90, I have understood FB% to be constant between parks with HR% being slightly more variable. If you can link to a study that shows otherwise, I would appreciate it. The key point right now is that we have only one year of information about Citi, but that one year shows it to be a neutral HR park. ESPN's single-season park factors give it a 1.057 HR factor

http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor/_/sort/HRFactor
   96. JPWF13 Posted: December 29, 2009 at 11:38 PM (#3424222)
Does anyone remember, BTW, that the Mets HAD Bay at one point,


yes

Is it already time to call Perez a sunk cost? He was beyond awful last year

no, he was beyond awful in 2005/06 and still was useful in 2007/08

he HAS to get in shape though.

Pineiro >> Garland. This is ridiculous that anyone would see them as equivalent.


My gut says Pineiro > Garland
partly irrational- EVERY time I've seen Piniero pitch- he's pitched well, of course I've only seen about 4-5 starts... EVERY time I've seen Garland pitch, I wonder why the batters aren't teeing off on him even more...

plus Pineiro's Hr/9, bb/9 and k/9 are all better than Garland's

but there is that pesky durability issue, unfortunately I see Garland as a 200 ip 78 ERA+ waiting to happen
   97. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 29, 2009 at 11:39 PM (#3424223)
All things being equal, I'd rather have Garland than Pineiro. Pineiro's way too erratic to give an expensive contract to.
   98. PreservedFish Posted: December 29, 2009 at 11:41 PM (#3424225)
I would just choose the cheaper of the two.

Pineiro's success last year was no joke (he had a Tewksburyesque BB/9) but Garland has the consistency and endurance. Both could be a major help to the rotation.
   99. JPWF13 Posted: December 29, 2009 at 11:42 PM (#3424227)
If Garland signs with an NL club, I expect his ERA to be a full run lower than Pineiro's in 2010.


I actually think the opposite is MUCH more likely...

Garland has been much more durable though, but pitchers tend to be durable until, they ain't...
   100. Bob Tufts Posted: December 29, 2009 at 11:44 PM (#3424229)
The scariest combination of words...Mets and pending physical....
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