As we all know, Jason Bay is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. The question is, where does he sign?
I just don't see Bay resigning with Boston. The Red Sox seem to leaning more towards shorter contracts, and I can't see Bay settling for a two or three year deal at age 30, especially if he keeps up the pace he is on for the rest of the season.
Coming into the season, it seemed like Matt Holliday would be the big free agent outfielder after the 2009 season, but he has been performing below expectations thus far, while Bay has been on fire. Here are the six teams I think could sign Bay after the season, assuming Boston doesn't re-sign him.
6. San Francisco Giants
The Giants need offensive help. Everyone knows this. Bay will hit around .300, slug around 30 home runs, and knock in 100-110. If Bay has a great year he will want to cash in, and San Francisco is in a position to overpay. He would fit in nicely hitting behind Sandoval.
5. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I don't see Anaheim resigning Guerrero, and Abreu is only signed for one year, so they will need to find some offense. Bay is four years younger than Vlad, and five younger than Abreu, so I think they could sign him and either slide him over to right field, or resign Vlad or Abreu to a short term and let one of the two walk.
Gary Matthews is a solid number four outfielder, but they could use Bay so they don't need to play Matthews every day.
4. New York Yankees
Why? They like to spend money, that's why. Hideki Matsui is set to become a free agent following the season, as is Johnny Damon. New York will have to replace them if they leave, which I assume Matsui will, and Damon possibly could.
Bay would fit in well in the Yankees lineup, and I think something along the lines of a five year, $50-60 million deal would get him in pinstripes.
3. Toronto Blue Jays
Considering the way the lineup is producing runs right now, they may not need him, but how happy would the fans be if they signed a legit Canadian superstar?
Travis Snider is developing into a very solid power hitter, and they have Wells and Rios for two outfield spots, but by signing Bay they could use one of the four as the DH, or rotate them to give everyone a bit of a rest from the field. A two-three-four of Rios, Bay and Wells would look pretty good, I think.
2. New York Mets
Call it a gut instinct, but I see the Mets making a splash this off season, and Bay could be it. Daniel Murphy and Jeremy Reed in left field? No thanks. The Mets beefed up the bullpen last off season, but Delgado is due to become a free agent and could walk, and they would need to replace his power.
Bay could provide solid defense, a good average, and power. The Mets have a new ball park to fill, and the more stars, the better. Reyes, Beltran, Wright and Bay? That would be a great top of the lineup, in my opinion.
1. Atlanta Braves
Anderson hasn't done much, and hes only signed for one year. The Braves have the pitching to contend, and with a power bat like Bay to go with Jones and McCann, I think they could push for the division title against the Mets and Phillies. Bay would look fantastic hitting behind Chipper, and would play a good left field for Atlanta.