Could it be? Is Jason Bay washed up?
In 2009, Jason Bay was regarded as one of the top premier free agents available in the off-season. The two-time All-Star outfielder, prior to signing a four-year contract worth $66 million dollars with the New York Mets, had played for the Boston Red Sox for two years [08-09]. Boston had acquired Bay via a three-team trade that would send the ever so popular, Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bay played 49 games with the Red Sox in 2008, but it wasn’t until 2009 where the power-hitting left fielder made his name. It seemed like balls were flying out of Fenway Park every time Bay made contact. Of course, the Red Sox had a hitter-friendly ballpark, which always helped. Nonetheless, Bay had a great season batting .267 with 36 homeruns and 119 RBIs. With these numbers, many people knew Jason Bay was going to be heavily recruited in the free agency market, it was just a matter of “how much” and “where?”
New York quickly answered those questions. Desperate for a “big bat” in the lineup, the Mets pounced on Jason Bay and locked him up for the next couple of years. Omar Minaya, who was the general manager at the time, considered this move another great idea for the franchise. Minaya is the same GM that was fired by the Mets in 2010. Go figure.
With everything set and done, New York Mets fans were once again excited for the upcoming season. It was the year where the Mets were going to unveil their new stadium, Citi Field to the fans. The same season where Johan Santana was going to pitch the first game. There was tremendous excitement, heck… it felt like Mike Piazza was back in uniform again. For a quick moment, everyone forgot about the 2007 collapse. It felt so good at the time, at least in the beginning.
Fast forwarding to now, the start of another MLB season. Nearly, three years down the road after the Jason Bay signing, the Mets have not been able to taste the MLB playoffs. It got even worse.
The Mets were pronounced to be involved with the Madoff scandal, which literally almost annihilated the organization. Star shortstop, Jose Reyes left the team and signed with the Miami Marlins. David Wright hasn’t been the hitter that everyone thought he was going to be and last but not least, Jason Bay has not lived up to expectations.
In review of Jason Bay’s output for the past two years with the Mets, the left fielder had managed to only hit .252 with 18 homeruns and 104 RBIs. Statistics that are definitely concerning, especially since Bay had surpassed every hitting category just in 2009 alone with the Red Sox.
According to the NY Post, if Jason Bay continues to struggle, Bay could lose his job in left field. Bay has gotten off to another rough start in this year’s Spring Training and the Mets management have gone as far as considering a platoon type atmosphere in left field. Jason Bay is expected to receive $16 million dollars in his third year, which makes this situation even more important.
Mets officials have already stated that it’s too early to worry about Jason Bay. After two years of being tremendously unproductive, I beg to differ. Jason Bay might be an All-World character baseball player, but that doesn’t help win games and bring runners home from scoring position. The Mets will need to evaluate this matter closely and make a firm decision so that it doesn’t become a distraction early in the season.
If this lackluster performance continues, should the Mets release Jason Bay or move forward with a platoon type situation in left field?
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