Thoughts On Bay And Mets Outfield Situation In 2011
Yesterday, Amazin Avenue asked if you could dump one Mets contract, which would it be?
My choice is Jason Bay because he hasn’t given the Mets the homerun power they thought they were getting.
Bay, who turns 32 next month, is aging fast, and for $17 million dollars annually, the Mets may be looking at an albatross for the duration of his contract. When you consider his easily attainable vesting option, he’s still owed $70 million dollars through 2014.
Yesterday, Bay said that he “absolutely plans to play again this season”, adding that “my head is getting better” following his July 23 concussion.
However when you examine the recent cases of Ryan Church and David Wright who struggled mightily after returning from post concussion injuries, it’s hard to get excited about someone who wasn’t exactly tearing it up before he collided with that wall.
Bay is batting just .259 with six home runs this season and in 95 games played, he has struck out 91 times.
I wonder what the Mets will do with Fernando Martinez once Bay is activated? F-Mart was called up from Triple-A over the weekend and the plan was that the Mets wanted to see exactly what they have in F-Mart, and if he could be counted on to contribute in 2011. With Carlos Beltran and Angel Pagan already playing everyday, I don’t see how that would be possible once Bay is activated unless something changes dramatically.
Even if the Mets were to trade Jeff Francoeur as has been rumored, it still wouldn’t solve the problem as his playing time has been reduced to almost nil anyway.
It’s been reported that Carlos Beltran cleared waivers on Monday, but unless the Mets intend to swallow $15 million dollars of his remaining $23MM, he’s not going anywhere.
It’s a very perplexing puzzle and one that if not played right, could have lasting consequences into 2011.
You can blame the Mets for this mess for not having a clearer understanding of what they had in outfielder Angel Pagan.
They got a good long look at Pagan last season when the injuries hit, but despite his solid play, they went after a big ticket left fielder anyway, and did so before the Carlos Beltran surgery fiasco rolled around in late January.
Did the Mets know Beltran was ailing like he told reporters, but the Mets denied? Because that’s the only thing that would make signing Bay a bigger priority than going after a top of the rotation starter.
At this point, you have to assume that Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, and Angel Pagan will all resume their places in the outfield for the 2011 season. So why was a .250 hitting Fernando Martinez rushed back to the majors, bypassing a host of more worthy options?
Are they really that ignorant that they would showcase him for a trade now, while his value has plummeted through the floor? For years this unproven commodity has been regarded as the cream of the Mets crop and was held back in potential trades, even for the likes of Manny Ramirez. That was back when he was a top ranked prospect. But now, nobody will touch F-Mart with a 50 foot pole, at least not if they have to give up anything of significant value.
How can you trust the Mets to do anything productive this season when they have shown such poor player valuation skills?
They completely miscalculated and undervalued Angel Pagan while overvaluing Fernando Martinez, both products of their farm system. Pagan, by the way, will be eligible for arbitration after the season and will be due a huge raise.
What a mess.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
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. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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