Sandy Alderson must say he won’t eat Jason Bay’s contract, even with the announcement the perpetual slumping outfielder is now a platoon player.
Sure, right now, nobody believes Bay won’t ever be the player the Mets envisioned when they signed him to a $66 million package over four years.
Currently, Bay has little value as a player in the market, but saying the Mets will eat the contract reduces it to nothing. By saying that, teams will hold back and wait for the eventual DFA. Yes, the Mets could always DFA Bay, then pull him back if they can’t work a deal. If nothing else, it’s another way to test interest. Consider it a given Bay has cleared waivers.
There’s a timing to these things, and now it is not the time.
You’d better believe Alderson is working the phones trying to pull off a waiver deal with a contender. Maybe if the Mets eat part of Bay’s deal for next season he can do something. We all thought he’d never deal Carlos Beltran – who didn’t expect a revival? – or Francisco Rodriguez, but he did.
Stranger things have happened. There could be interest in Bay.
If not now, there’s always the offseason to work a trade. But, with the free-agent market, the Mets won’t find takers. There are plenty of quick fixes during the winter so bet the Mets will still have Bay after Christmas.
The Mets’ only hope is for Bay to find it next spring. If he does, that could ignite trade talks. But for now, Alderson’s proclamation of Bay staying will hold.
At least, until there’s a team with a desperate need that makes poor decisions. Yes, the way the Mets were when they signed Bay in the first place.