The New York Mets sign left fielder Jason Bay on Tuesday to a 4 year $66M deal. The deal also has a 5th year option which will be picked up if Bay gets a certain number of plate appearances. The potential total deal could be worth a little more than $80M.The contract is also said to be heavily back loaded.
Some people are against this deal because they feel the Mets have multiple problems to fix and shouldn’t waste all their money on signing one player. However, with the back loaded contract the Mets will have more money to spend this off season, as appose to just giving him the same amount ($16M) every year. So if they want (and they should) they can go out and sign or trade for other players.
When it comes down to Bay as a player, I think he is a great fit for this team. The team desperately needed a power bat in the middle of their line-up and that is what Bay is. Matt Holliday was another player the Mets were interested in for left field but the Mets felt that Bay’s abilities and swing would be better for them. Bay should put up around 33 home runs for the Mets, while Holliday would most likely produce less.
Another thing that may concern Mets fans is Bay’s .267 batting average. For one thing Bay is usually about a .280 hitter and I expect him to be around there, if not higher, for the 2010 season. In any event, batting average is a overrated stat. The more important stat is on-base percentage, something Bay is very good at. I believe Bay will have around a .380 OBP.
Bay should be used as the Mets clean up hitter which mean he will be batting between Carlos Beltran and David Wright. In this position Bay will have a ton of opportunities to drive in runs. He should finish the season with over 100 RBI’s .
When it comes to fielding Bay isn’t the best out there. There is a lot of ground to cover in Citi Field so his sub par defense may hurt the Mets. However, having Beltran and Jeff Francoeur out there so they will help pick up the balls that Bay can’t get to. Bay’s defensive isn’t great, but he’s not like Fernando Tatis or Daniel Murphy out there.
Overall, I think the signing of Jason Bay was something that the Mets needed to do. I don’t think they are over paying for him either with him making $16M a year. That is a fair amount of money for the numbers that he will put up as a left fielder. However, if they spent all their money on Bay and don’t want to spend any more I won’t like this deal. Mets need to go out there and sign a number 2 starter and possibly a set-up man.