Congratulations to the Mets. After all those other teams' offseason signings where Omar Minaya appeared to be sleeping (literally), the Mets finally made a move, signing former Pittsburgh Pirate and Boston Red Sock (is that the singular?), Jason Bay.
Bay, 2004 Rookie of the Year in the National League, is a great player. A top-15 outfielder without a question, probably even top 10.
But the Mets signed the wrong guy.
The Mets have a lot of money invested in guys like Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez, Johan Santana and others. Four years and $66 million is a lot of money, and I'm not saying Bay isn't good, he's very good.
Matt Holliday was the right guy.
Holliday, also a left fielder, has a career batting average 38 points higher than Bay. But also take into account that Holliday played in Coors Field, a known hitters park.
Though Bay is known more as a home run hitter (though it is very close), Holliday consistently hits a lot of home runs, with a career high of 36 in 2007.
While Bay has the same career high, achieved this season, Bay has more 30 home run seasons (four) than Holliday (two).
Holliday's batting average is a big boost over Bay, as mentioned before, 38 points higher.
Let's compare even further.
In 2007, Matt Holliday hit 50 doubles, leading the league, while Bay hit 25.
According to MLB Park Factors on espn.com, Coors Field (home of the Rockies) has the third highest doubles per game average, at 1.256, while PNC Park (home of the Pirates) had the seventh highest average, at 1.079.
That's not a huge difference, one of .0177 per game, which over 81 home games games amounts to a difference of 14.337 doubles. Not much of a difference.
Though Bay is a better power hitter, Holliday is a much better pure hitter, and the numbers prove it.
Holliday's asking price: a reported $18 million per year. Over five years, it would clearly have been worth it.
If Jason bay does get that fifth year vesting option reported in the contract, he will be paid $80 million over five years. That's just a $10 million difference from Holliday.
$10 million from Jason Bay to Matt Holliday. I would take that upgrade any day.