The So-Called Vesting Option, And Other Mets Bashing

An article by posted on December 29, 2009

I’ve literally read over a dozen tweets from different sources in the mainstream media and a dozen more from ordinary bloggers like me regarding the 5th year vesting option that was a part of the 4 year deal the Mets gave Jason Bay.

The problem is that there’s a lot of chirping going on about it, almost all of them pounding the Mets for making the vesting option easily attainable. Others are clamoring that it was for too much money, while more still complained about the amount of the buyout.

Hey… everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, but what I wanted to know was where they all got the contract details from. Not being able to find any information regarding this so-called vesting option, I decided to e-mail nine of them, and asked them to explain where they got some of the numbers they were tossing around in their Tweets and Posts. It’s been about eight hours and only one responded only to say he was speculating based on what’s being circulated on Twitter. In other words, a little bird told them…

So now we are going to beat up the Mets before they even do anything wrong?

Gee, that’s smart… Hopefully the legal system or their employers will return the favor to them.

Ed Price of AOL FanHouse reports the following via Twitter,

Bay’s deal with Mets is $66 million for 4 years with $17 M option that should be easily vested, bringing it to $80 M for 5 years.

Weird… According to my math it adds up to $83 million, but the bigger question is if it’s easily vested where are those details?

ESPN‘s Jerry Crasnick reported that the option is only for $14 million which would seem like a fair amount given that it wouldn’t kick in until 2014, and when you add in inflation and the cost of living, we’re talking about just over $10 million in present value.

Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog gathers that Jason Bay will earn only $10 million in the first year of a heavily back-loaded deal, and that the vesting option kicks in if he averages 140 games.

I would gladly pay the fifth year if it meant four relatively injury free and productive years from Jason Bay. And if the fifth year option was the deal breaker, who cares? Bay will be 35 in his fifth year. Mike Cameron who the entire metrics-based, fan base drooled over is 38 years old. Somebody gag me…

Jack Moore of Fan Graphs believe that the Mets overpaid.

Some say $16 million is too much for someone who is not a franchise player. But when I look at the contracts of the most recent franchise player signings, they are all in excess of $20 million dollars per year. And if it’s true that Bay will only get $10 million in his first year, it would seem to me the Mets got the best of this one.

The only person who was actually in the know about this is his highness, Mike Francesa, who broke the news and had the only exclusive details that were available.

When callers began calling into WFAN, one of them, most like concerned about all the speculative posts, threw out the figure $80 million, and Francesa scoffed at him and wanted to know who fed him that rubbish.

Yahoo’s Jeff Passan writes,

“Here the New York Mets go again, throwing money at a big-name free agent who they misguidedly convince themselves will solve their troubles.”

He goes on to rip the Mets, while making some of the most ignorant points I’ve read in a long time. This is the same guy who wrote only days ago,

Every day, Bay embarrasses the Mets just a little more by allowing their four-year, $64 million contract to float in the ether, as though it’s there, yes, but just on a lark, because he wouldn’t dare go to a home run-eating ballpark with alleys wide enough to further expose his defensive ineptitude.

Lurking, as they always do, are the Yankees and the Red Sox. Players of Holliday’s caliber, and, to a lesser extent, Bay’s, come around every year during free agency. They do not often appear at huge discounts, compared to what they provide, and unless some other teams hit the Mega Millions or decide to start spending more, Holliday and Bay will be precisely that.

He inferred that the Yankees and Red Sox could swoop in, match the offer and get a bargain in Bay, but now he changes his tune and said the Mets overpaid? Gimme a break…

Passan really shows his lack of depth and knowledge of the Mets when he writes,

The Bay signing is reminiscent, in a way, of the last time the Mets reached these depths. Following a 91-loss season in 2004, the Mets brought in a past-his-prime Martinez for $55 million, then made the splash of the offseason by signing Carlos Beltran to a $119 million contract.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

Is he seriously comparing the circumstances of 2004 with those of 2009?

What team could have survived the loss of their leadoff hitter, number three hitter, cleanup hitter and three-fifths of their rotation?

And if Passan doesn’t understand the significance of the Pedro Martinez signing as well as the Beltran signing, he is clearly not someone that any intelligent baseball fan should take seriously.

What a strange day for a Met fan to be surfing the blogosphere. Just a whole lot of bitching and whining…

Hopefully 2010 will be better, but don’t bet on it…

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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