I have to be honest, I didn’t think GM Omar Minaya had it in him to land Jason Bay. I was ready to chalk up the 2010 season to rebuilding and maybe finishing in fourth place, but Minaya’s pursuit and subsequent landing of Bay to play left field for the Mets and possibly bat cleanup has changed my outlook of this team. Not entirely, of course, but this is a solid move that injects a huge dose of offense and defense, as well as confidence to a sagging franchise, almost immediately.
The questions remain, though, about the starting staff behind ace Johan Santana, and also whether Santana and other injured players who missed significant time in 2009 will be back, and/or back to form. That list is led by Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, John Maine and David Wright. It also includes Carlos Delgado, who is a free agent but still may be re-signed by the Mets.
That said, you have to like this lineup with Bay in it, because he’s still young (31), he’s a very adequate defensive outfielder, and he’s something that we’ve been lacking on this team for a while—a tough out. Last season with Boston, Bay had a .676 slugging percentage with runners in scoring position, second in the majors only to NL MVP Albert Pujols. So this is a guy we had to have, and while many of us doubted Minaya, he really came through this time.
Of course, we’re still bitter about 2009, so we’re all hoping for a few more tweaks and some better luck in 2010. But we sure do welcome Jason Bay with open arms.