Dec 16

Bay negotiations ….

The negotiations for outfielder Jason Bay continue, with the Mets making it a five-year, $75-million package. However, Bay wants a sixth year, which would make him 37 at the end of the contract. If Bay holds fast on six years the Mets will turn to Matt Holliday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the Cardinals offering a $128-million deal over eight years.

Dec 16

How high would you go for Jason Bay?

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?

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.

Dec 15

Sorting things out ….

BAY: Still on Mets' radar, but they'd better hurry.

BAY: Still on Mets' radar, but they'd better hurry.

The Mets are dealing with the fall out from the bombshell dealings of yesterday.

I don’t know if stonewalling Jason Bay was a ruse by the Red Sox to get John Lackey. I didn’t think they were going to get him anyway, and it has nothing to do with them misreading the pitching market.

Even so, they should be more aggressive in their pursuit for him if he’s their target. Let’s face it, he has to be because they aren’t going to give Matt Holliday what the Cardinals are reportedly willing to do.

If the Mets think Bay will “fall back” to them like Johan Santana did, they could be mistaken. The first impression, and I had it yesterday, was Seattle wouldn’t go for him because they’ll need the money for Cliff Lee.

Perhaps that was premature.

Wouldn’t Seattle be a little more enticing to Lee if there was power in that line-up? Maybe, with Lee, the Mariners see an opening to win this year and will still pursue Bay. Truth is, the Mariners haven’t said Bay is no longer an option.

And, what about the Angels? With Lackey gone and Halladay no longer an option, they have to be looking to do something. Bay was on their radar before. He might still be on it unless the Angels are bent on those middle-tier arms the Mets have been talking about. Truth is, for what they saved in Lackey, they might be able to swing both Bay and a pitcher. And, Bay has to be a better option than Hideki Matsui.
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Dec 14

More Bay watching ….

The Mets believe they’ll get a handle on the Jason Bay landscape toward the end of the week. One thing is clear, the Mets’ initial offer of $65 million over four years won’t be enough to get it done.

If their offer is the Mets “real” evaluation of Bay, then they’ll have to overpay to get the 31-year-old outfielder. A guaranteed fifth year could get it done, as Bay’s agent has said there’s a fifth year offer from an unnamed team on the table.

The Mets prefer Matt Holliday, but he’s a Scott Boras client and it will be closer to $100 million to get him. The Red Sox are also considering Holliday. Boston’s offer is a four-year, $60-million package. The Red Sox say they won’t go higher, but that seems like posturing to me.

The Mets haven’t heard from Bay on their offer. GM Omar Minaya said he’s also going to look at his non-tendered options, which include Cincinnati’s Jonny Gomes and Oakland’s Jack Cust, who hit 20 and 25 homers, respectively last year.

Another power option – and a cheaper alternative to bringing back Carlos Delgado at first – is San Francisco’s Ryan Garko.

Dec 12

Another look at Bay ….

BAY: Is he the right fit?

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.