Jason Bay has struggled mightily ever since he joined the New York Mets in 2010, when he signed a four-year deal guaranteed $66 million with a fifth year option of $17 million.
In the course of his two plus years with the Mets, Bay has never batted higher than .259 which was in 2010. He was supposed to be a much needed power bat to the lineup, but that also has never come to fruition. In 2011 he hit 12 home runs in 123 games which was well off of his pace that he hit with the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This year Bay is again riddled with injuries and has only had 66 at bats this season. He is batting .197 and has only gotten one hit since coming off of the disabled list last week. Bay is supposed to be hitting cleanup or in the fifth spot for the Mets, but now he has been dropped to being the seventh or sometimes even the eighth hitter.
At this point in his career it would be hard to trade someone who is as unproductive as Bay. However, there will be some teams who will make the trade based off of what he used to do. The Mets will not get a lot in return but they need to move on. The Mets will also have to consider eating most of Bay’s contract considering that the risk team’s are taking with him already is not worth that kind of money.
Bay is a likeable guy off the field and his defense and effort has always been there. No one can say that he hasn’t tried, but it is time for a change. A new place for Bay to play at might be all that is needed to get back on track. There will be less pressure on him and he can focus on just playing the game.
As for the Mets, they really don’t need Bay at this point. They have been winning this season without him and have a group of young talented outfielders who are ready to take his spot. Mike Baxter would be the favorite to take Bay’s spot if the Mets decide to get rid of him as he is an excellent hitter and a good outfielder. He is currently on the disabled list after crashing into the wall making a spectacular catch to preserve Johan Santana’s no-hitter.
Even with Baxter on the disabled list, Terry Collins would have plenty of options without Bay. He can play Scott Hairiston in left field during games with left-handed pitchers on the mound. In games with right-handed pitching, rookie outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis can move from center to left and Andres Torres can play centerfield.
If the Mets front office can find any team that is willing to take Bay out of there hands, they need to take that offer. It has been almost three years now that Bay has been with this franchise and it doesn’t look like things are going to get any better.
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