Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Matthews a blue print for Bay

Photo by Michael Baron
Jason Bay has returned from another significant injury; he's had the concussion, oblique injuries, finger issues and now a broken rib.  In three years Bay has only appeared in 236 games but more disappointing then his attendance has been his production.  The once all-star caliber outfielder who hit 21 or more home-runs in six straight years has only hit 21 home-runs his entire Mets career.  Not only is his power down but so is his run production, he could once be penciled in for 100 RBIs, and  now has just 139 RBIs as a Mets.

Since returning from the DL he has been hit-less in three games and now signs of offensive life are marked by the degree of contact he makes not the type of hit he has.  In my opinion it's way to soon to be discussing cutting Jason Bay but I do understand those who say this is not about three games it's about three years and it is hard to argue that point.  If he continues on this path I do believe it will reach a point where the team will have to cut him or trade him for another expensive change of scenery guy.

While I feel it is too soon to have this discussion, I do believe it's a discussion that's not impossible to have.  As those who say cut him after three hit-less games seem extreme so does saying it can't even be discussed because of how much he is owed.

If Bay can't turn it around the Mets have a blueprint on how to handle moving an expensive player who isn't living up to their contract.  Gary Matthews Jr. in 2006 signed a five year 50M contract with the Angels after coming off a career year with the Rangers.  By 2010 the Angels outfield was too crowded and Matthews was an over paid disappointment.

The Angels would give Matthews to the Mets, they paid 23.3M of his contract over two years while the Mets gave up nothing and paid little over 2M while cutting him after 36 games.  The Angels saved a bit of face in moving him instead of cutting him outright and the Mets took very little risk in giving a former All-Star a chance.

Bay is owed more then Matthews at 16M for the next two years but while Bay would be replaced by min. salary guys like Kirk and Baxter, Matthews was replaced with expensive guys like Hunter and Abreu.  Watching A.J. Burnett go from an unproductive disappointment in NY to a staff leader in Pittsburgh may inspire a small market team to give  Bay a chance especially if the Mets foot most of the bill...