As the Mets continue to put the full court press on Jason Bay, I keep thinking, “if this is all they do they haven’t improved enough to win.” Maybe not even enough to contend.
Their offense will get better with the returns of Wright, Reyes and Beltran. Made stronger with Bay, But, their pitching is still four-deep in questions with the rotation and lacking depth in the bullpen.
They finished fourth without Bay. They can finish fourth with him if their pitching stays the same.
The Mets are in serious negotiations with outfielder Jason Bay, and are presumably the team with the most interest.
Seattle, Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco also have interest, but it is considered minimal in comparison to the Mets’ package of $65-million over four years, which they reportedly are willing to increase with a fifth year.
Given this, it might be time for the Mets to play hardball with their best and final offer, telling Bay to take it or leave it. Then, they can go after some pitching.
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.
It’s been the Mets’ refrain for awhile now: “We’ll be all right once we get our healthy players back.”
REYES: Will we see his speed this summer?
The catch, however, is a complete return to health and production.
Yesterday, Jose Reyes, who tore the hamstring tendon in his right leg last summer, said he expects to be 100 percent by spring training.
“The doctors said I am supposed to be the same Jose Reyes, I should be 100 percent, I should recover my speed,” said Reyes. “I don’t know if I will recover it right away, but I am working for that. When I am healthy, I will be able to do the things I did before.”
He should be 100 percent, he should regain his speed. I’ve heard more forceful statements. “I don’t know if I will recover (my speed) right away.” Sounds ominous.
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.