The Mets are on the table for $65 million over four years for a good, but not great outfielder, Jason Bay.
That won’t be enough. The first proposal rarely is. Initially, I said it could take $90 million to get the deal done. Maybe I went too, high, but I don’t think by much anymore. If the Mets go for a fifth year, it will be north of $80 million.
BAY: How high should the Mets go?
It concerns me the Red Sox are adamant in not giving him more and have basically told him to hit the road. I’m also wary of reports out of Boston of making him a DH by the end of the contract. Do the Mets really need to be paying over $15 million a year for a couple of seasons to a broken down outfielder.
Meanwhile, those middle-tier pitchers are still on the shelf. And, they don’t really excite me that much, either. Do you overpay for Bay, or attempt to get two pitchers for the price? Or to you spread the money out and get a pitcher, a reliever and a lesser outfielder such as Ryan Garko. Maybe try to coax another year out of Jermaine Dye or again, think about Rick Ankiel?
We knew going into the Hot Stove Season the pickings were slim. Well the best are off the board and Matt Holliday is too rich for the Mets’ blood.
It’s time for tough decisions. This is where Omar Minaya earns his money.
ON DECK: Jose Reyes.
BAY: Is he the right fit?
The offer is out there, four years at $65-million, which I don’t believe is enough to bring Jason Bay
to the Mets. I may have overestimated in an earlier post on Bay’s asking value, but hold fast the Mets’ initial offer won’t get it done.
Before jumping on the Bay Bandwagon, let’s kick the tires a bit and look at some of the reasons to be cautious with him.
* He’s a dead pull hitter, which everybody is saying fits the style for Citi Field. That said, don’t you think pitchers know that and will give him nothing but breaking stuff over the plate? I can envision another David Wright dropoff.
* What does it say to you that the team that knows him best prefers Matt Holliday and is holding firm at four years, $60 million. Posturing? Perhaps. But, it must be considered.
* At 31, he’ll be 35 at the end of a presumably back-loaded contract. If the Mets make it five years, he’ll be 36. There are reports in Boston the Red Sox would have to move Bay to the DH slot at the end of his contract for concern of him being a defensive liability.
* Bay is a strikeout machine, fanning 162 times last season and not less that 129 in his career.
Omar Minaya is seeking the medical records of Hideki Matsui. Just informational. Doesn’t mean they are about to sign him to a three-year deal. Even so, it says the Mets could be thinking in that direction. I like Matsui, but his time has come and he’s a DH-type now. He’s not going to be able to cover that left field at Citi Field without some kind of breakdown.
Looking Back ....
…. In 1991, in one of their better decisions, the Mets signed Bobby Bonilla to a five-year, $29 million contract. At the time, Bonilla, a local athlete, was coming off a productive run with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bonilla became a lightning rod in the clubhouse, some thought a clubhouse cancer. Threatening reporters didn’t help his image. I was in Baltimore when he brought his reputation to the Orioles, and sure enough, he didn’t report. He and Davey Johnson had an especially combative relationship caused by the DH rule.
Bonilla, who couldn’t field, didn’t like the DH and rebelled at being used in that slot. I didn’t have a chummy relationship with Bonilla, who was adverse to answering most questions, even simple ones, like, “how are you?”
One time, that question was answered with the, “why don’t you ask the “!@#$%%^” manager?”
ON DECK: A simple question about Roy Halladay.
Expect to see the Phillies use Raul Ibanez as the DH for at least Game 1 of the World Series against lefty CC Sabathia.
GIRARDI: Has some decisions to make.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi is undecided about going with a three-game rotation. Chad Gaudin could get a start in Game 4. No doubt, Girardi might be thinking he’s pressing his luck by going with Sabathia on three days rest again.
Girardi also said the Eric Hinske could be activated for the Series. The Yankees may also opt to add a reliever. To accommodate, the Yankees would likely go back to carrying two catchers instead of three.
POSADA: Still wants to catch Burnett.
Jose Molina is still on for starting behind the plate to catch AJ Burnett. Don’t expect the Yankees to use Jorge Posada as the DH when Molina catches because if he has to replace him behind the plate the Yankees would lose the DH.
After a horrendous regular season in which he blew 11 save opportunities, Brad Lidge returned to form in the playoffs with three saves and a victory without giving up a run. A strong Lidge gives the Phillies a similar presence to what the Yankees enjoy with Mariano Rivera. Of course, nobody matches Rivera, but if Lidge is on his game and the Phillies lead late, the odds are against a blown save that would bring Rivera into the game.