The Mets have been here before, saddled with an unproductive player and a huge contract. It wasn’t too long ago the Mets cursed the existence of Oliver Perez. Now it is Jason Bay.
A significant difference is while Perez’s attitude in the clubhouse turned teammates against him, Bay remains a popular figure because he plays hard and hustles. He just can’t hit.
With Andres Torres on the disabled list and David Wright possibly heading there, the Mets’ serious lack of depth has been exposed six games into the season.
Realistically, what can the Mets do?
They could drop him in the order as Terry Collins hinted, but he’s still an out waiting to happen. Besides, without Wright – and with Lucas Duda and Ike Davis also not hitting – where’s he going to hit? Sixth? Seventh?
If the Mets had somebody better to play they would, but since they don’t there won’t be a platoon system and they can’t bench him.
Bay’s contract and two years of not hitting makes him nearly impossible to trade. And, do the Mets really want to eat his contract and release him? There’s that egg-in-the-face risk again of him being picked up and producing elsewhere.
The Mets’ best hope with Bay is the same as it was with Perez, and that’s for him to play and eventually fix himself.
Two days ago I thought there might have been a chance of dropping him in the order and then perhaps platooning him because the Mets didn’t want Bay being an anchor to a fast start. But, Wright is hurt and two losses later with the Mets heading to Philadelphia, what was once bright is now bleak.
Bay will stay. Sorry.