Jason Bay has been a Met for a year and two months. During this time, he has been a major disappointment since signing a four-year, $66 million deal with a fifth-year vesting option.
Granted, Bay missed a significant chunk of time last season due to a concussion, but even before that, he struggled offensively. This was a guy who had six straight 20+ HR seasons, including a 36 HR campaign for the Boston Red Sox before the Mets signed him.
While Bay had trouble adjusting to Citi Field, that should only apply to his power numbers. The stadium is not the easiest to hit the ball out of, but it’s no excuse for a normally good offensive player recording a .230 batting average.
Bay looks lost at the plate. He has averaged almost a strikeout per game and has only eight RBI on the season. Eight RBI from the team’s cleanup hitter is downright unacceptable.
What’s worse is that Bay just can’t seem to get runs in when his teammates are in scoring position. There’s no excuse for not driving in the run when a runner is on third base with nobody out. However, Bay has made this customary.
How much more patient can the Mets be with Bay?
The problem is that Bay will earn a ton of money the next three seasons, so the Mets can’t afford to just release him.
Trading Bay will be an impossible task. No teams will want to take on his contract, and his lack of production will quell any interest another team has.
It looks as though the Mets will just have to sit back and hope that Bay can find himself. He’s a good defensive outfielder, but the Mets are paying him to drive in runs.
Since the Mets look like they’ll be stuck with Bay the next few years, Terry Collins has to find a way to properly utilize him.
The first step will be moving him down in the order. Right now, this isn’t really an option since David Wright and Ike Davis are on the shelf, but when they return, Bay should be hitting sixth in the order at best—Reyes, Pagan, Beltran, Davis, Wright, Bay, Turner/Murphy, Thole/Paulino.
If Bay can’t turn his Mets career around, this signing may go down as one of the worst in Mets history.
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