Jason Bay is unofficially off the market as the New York Mets have signed the Canadian-born left fielder to a four-year deal worth a reported $66 million.
This is quite possibly the last big signing of the year, the decade, and Omar Minaya’s final chance to put a winning ball club on the field in the always-competitive, National League East.
According to ESPN correspondent, Jerry Crasnick, the deal will become official after Bay takes the required physicals.
Bay and the Mets do appear to be a perfect fit for each other.
The Mets have acquired a power-hitting left fielder, a need for a team that hit the fewest home runs of any in Major League Baseball in 2009, while adding a team player and consummate professional.
Bay is one of the most consistent players in today’s game, and is one player whose work ethic will not be questioned. His addition to the Mets will be of more benefit in the clubhouse than anything he could do on the field.
Don’t get me wrong, anyone that can give you 30 home-runs and 100 RBI every single year is an unquestioned advantage, but for the Mets who have suffered through some of the most horrendous / historic Septembers in recent memory can only benefit from this.
Does Bay’s addition give the Mets the edge they need to take control of the division?
The answer is no, because he cannot pitch. If the Mets cannot address their pitching needs, their window of opportunity could be drawing to a close.
Bay is model of consistency, unfortunately there appears to be some cracks in his armor.
30 and 100 are a given, but so are 150 strikeouts and an ever-so-slight reduction in batting average.
While Bay’s batting average has dipped below .270 in two of the last three seasons, he averages 145 strikeouts a season through his seven-plus-year career (150 strikeouts per year in his last 4).
Additional research reveals his GB% – Ground Ball Percentage (GB/BIP), is at the lowest of his career (33.2 percent). On the other hand, his FB% – Fly Ball Percentage (FB/BIP), is at its peak (49.1 percent).
My first observation: Bay is not getting on top of the pitches. My second observation: a slight decrease in bat speed, thus trying to compensate.
Overall, the Mets made a good move.
A reliable player, whom when hot, can carry a team for weeks at a time.
However, by year three of this contract, he may not be the same type of player that we are used to if the underlying issues that have been exposed become more prevalent.
Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is also available for hire or freelance opportunities.
Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.
Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada. He can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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