Jason Bay was signed by the New York Mets after the 2009 season with the expectations that he would bring both power and runs batted in. In 2008, Jason Bay had 31 home runs and 101 runs batted in between playing for both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Red Sox. In 2009, he hit 36 home runs and had 119 runs batted in. The New York Mets expected production like this when they signed him. He did not give them it.
In his first season with the New York Mets, Jason Bay had six home runs and 47 runs batted in. In his second season with the team, he had 12 home runs and 57 runs batted in. In his first two years combined, he had 18 home runs, which is significantly less than either previous year, and his runs batted in total is 104.
This year Jason Bay needs to step up. A big key to how good the New York Mets will be this year depends on how he plays this year. I have been a big critic of Jason Bay since he came to the team. I don’t like the way he has played. He hasn’t done the job he was brought in to do, which is to hit home runs and drive in runs. What would I be content with? I would be content with 16 home runs and 80-90 runs batted in. The Mets have considered platooning him if he is still struggling late in May. While I have said lately that the Mets should consider trying a different option in left field, platooning isn’t really what’s best for the team. If Jason Bay can do his job this year, a platoon won’t even be necessary. However, if he once again doesn’t do his job, it might be time for the Mets to consider releasing or trading him.
Jason Bay has a lot to prove this season. He needs to stay healthy and he needs to put up numbers like he did before joining the New York Mets. If he doesn’t, he might be losing the everyday starter role, and possibly his job. If he does put up those kinds of numbers, the Mets will likely win more games. This is a big season for Bay, as he not only needs to prove himself to the Mets, but also to the rest of the teams in the MLB. After this season, Bay only has the 2013 season left on his contract, plus a vesting option. In order for the vesting option to go into effect, Bay needs 500 plate appearances in 2012 and 2013, or 600 plate appearances in 2013. If the Mets choose to release Bay after this season due to lack of performance, other teams will be looking at how he played with the Mets, and that will impact how aggressively they go after him. He needs to prove himself to the whole league this year.