Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jason Bay to the Mets

Yeah, this is not news. But we've been on vacation for a week and a half. What is there to say about this? Well, a few things:

-Joe Urbon didn't screw up. As I'm sure you remember, a lot of people, mostly in Boston, thought Urbon (because idiots blame the agent and not the player who employs the agent) of overplaying his hand. It is very, very, very rare that an agent overplays his hand. Because there will almost always be a team that is willing to take a significant risk on a good baseball player--the kind of player who might be a candidate to overplay his hand. The Mets decided that Bay was worth that kind of risk. And he very well might be.

On a similar note, there will almost definitely be a team who will give Johnny Damon $35 million over three years. I don't think it will be the Yankees, but it will be someone.

-The Mets are a freaking mess. Investing a lot in Jason Bay leaves doubt that they'd be able to put some pieces together to fix the other problems on their team. They have A LOT of other problems on their team--namely, their offense sucks and their pitching sucks. They might be able to be okay if their entire offense stays healthy. With the exception of 166 innings from Santana, their pitching was a freaking disaster. Jason Bay will not make this team a contender.

-Theo Epstein is John Madden. He says a lot of things that don't make sense, such as the "Second Highest OPS" argument when he lets the guy with the first-highest OPS of all AL outfielders walk. Fanboys love him. And in the Patriots/Rams Super Bowl, he would strongly advise that the team takes a knee and tries to win in overtime. Instead of negotiating with someone like Bay (or even like Holliday), Epstein is very content with getting a few years of leaded coffee but lousy to mediocre baseball with Mike Cameron and thinking that's the best way to win games.

-On the other hand, the fact that Bay is gone and the Red Sox didn't care too much is another indicator that they are punting 2010.

-Scott Boras is right. He called baseball owners' bluffs on whining about the economy the last two years. Teams still have money. They still have a lot of money. And with the exception of who NoMaas.org calls the "Pittsburgh Red Sox," they are still willing to spend that money. Jason Bay is not Albert Pujols. He's not even Mark Teixeira. But he got paid. Guys like AJ Burnout and Derek Lowe also still got significant paydays in the free agent market. As much as I dislike Boras, he's completely right: Teams still have that money to spend.

It's good to be back. Lots more to look forward to here on HYD Baseball between now and the time the season starts.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

DV

I'm surprised at how it's become trendy to defend JD Drew. I read a remark somewhere that if the Sox signed Jason Bay for $60 million that he'd be the highest paid player on the Sox, followed by a snide remark about how absurd it would be. Apparently it's not absurd that JD Drew, who bats 7th or 8th, is THE highest paid player on the team.

Lastly, I do not think that the market is where Scott Boras suggests it is. Yes, there is money out there. But Jason Bay, who you mentioned is not a Mark Teixeira caliber player, was paid 1/3rd of what Teixeira got last year. It appears that the really big name players are getting paid, while the second tier guys are no longer getting huge money (remember Carlos Lee getting $100 million? Those days are gone). Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, Hideki Matsui, and Adam Dunn all got short years, short money, or both. And those guys are all either all-stars or legitimate bats you can plug into your line-up to provide serious production. They just aren't elite guys, so they don't get elite money. The exception to this situation is AJ Burnett, who got paid huge money last year despite not having a stud resume. Fortunately for him, the Yankees targeted him and since they can do more than the average team, he got paid big, too.

--the Gunn

Ross Kaplan said...

I really don't think the Mets situation is quite as desire as people make them out to be. This was a team that suffered an absolute plague of injuries that spread to everyone of its best players which made it next to impossible for them to compete. If Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Santana can stay healthy they've still got a decent shot of winning the Wild Card. Of course their main shortcoming is their pitching which is very anemic after Santana, they probably should have made a better effort to sign Lackey. I'm also not too sure how much better the Phillies are now with replacing Halladay with Lee. Lee was absolutely lights out for them during his tenure there and it's going to be hard to replicate over the course of a full season.

the gm at work said...

Gunn,

The answer to many of your comments there is John Lackey. He's now the highest-paid member of the team. Which, to some extent, restores order to the universe because the highest-paid player on the team is no longer a mediocre player.

Your other comment, while I agree on one hand--that Boras is out of his mind to think that Johnny Damon is going to get another three years at $13 million per--for every three Bobby Abreus, there is a John Lackey. Lackey is a #2 guy, am I wrong? And he got paid big time. Burnett and Lowe aren't alone.

Tank,

I'll agree that the Mets are better than your proofreading skills, but you're asking four unhealthy guys to be healthy. And the rotation behind Santana, as you said, was abysmal last year. A lot of guys (Pelfrey, Maine, Oliver Perez, Francisco Rodriguez in the bullpen) took BIG steps back last year.

PF said...

agree with dv. aj burnett is not the only player not of the uber-elite that has gotten paid the last two winters. derek lowe is another. the difference between john lackey and aj burnett's resume is almost nothing. burnett spend the first half of his career in the nl, but the al west is not exactly an offensive juggernaut. lackey is more consistent and burnett has more upside to dominate, but both pretty much arrive at similar numbers. and that is probably why lackey got just a touch more on his contract than burnett did, but it was pretty much the same. i agree with gunn that the multitude of huge contracts being handed out to non top tier guys not longer exists (four years ago lackey, burnett, and lowe probably would have made a lot more than they did), but some still are. on the whole i have to agree with gunn too. outside of these few examples, it's pretty much the top tier guys getting what they might get in any market, and virtually everybody else is taking some sort of paycut, even the non top tier guys mentioned above who still got substantial deals. then you look at MAJOR production that are taking short, small money deals, and you really get a sense of where things are. hideki matsui hit 28 home runs last year, won the world series mvp, plays a game where there is a designated hitter, and got 1/$6.5! i'm not suggesting he should be getting a huge money deal, but i am suggesting that when jd drew is getting 5/$70 (and there are loads of other examples) just a few years ago, the market is ridiculously depressed because matsui should be making a lot more than that by comparison. i know that there are things drew brings that matsui doesn't because he can play defense, but for one season matsui is a better bat, and $14 million and $6.5 million aren't even close.