MMO Fair or Foul: Bay For Burnett?
Lets take a look at what Joe Janish has to say about the heavily rumored Jason Bay for A.J. Burnett swap.
Financially speaking, the deal is more or less a wash. Burnett is owed $33M through the end of 2013, while Bay is guaranteed $35M ($16M for ’12 and ’13 plus a $3M buyout for ’14). Even though the Mets don’t have much depth nor big-time prospects to step into Bay’s spot, there are still a few affordable free agent options available and the Mets could push someone like Juan Lagares or Kirk Nieuwenhuis to the bigs for the time being. Bottom line is this: finding a stopgap corner outfielder is rarely a difficult challenge — particularly in comparison to finding a starting pitcher.
But there is another factor at play here, and that is tradeability and trade value. Jason Bay will have to make a complete transformation from what he’s done over the past two years to become a tradeable asset. Bay would have to return to being the slugger he was in Boston for other teams to consider giving up prospects for him and/or assuming some or all of his contract. That’s a tall order, and though anything is possible, such a turnaround would seem to be improbable.
On the other hand, A.J. Burnett doesn’t necessarily have to return to being a lights-out 18-game winner to become a trading chip. All he has to do is continue missing bats at his usual 8-9 K/9 rate, get a little lucky, and have a few of those eye-popping outings he normally sprinkles in a typical year. When A.J. Burnett is “on”, opposing scouts drool over his potential, and teams imagine him as a legit postseason starter. If Burnett can be “on” just enough times in the first three months of the season, a few contending teams looking for arms could convince themselves he’s “figured it out” and take a chance on him at the deadline. ~ Mets Today
I think Joe’s onto something, check out his full article.
It would be a reunion of sorts for Burnett who was originally drafted by the Mets in 1995 and then shipped off three years later in the trade that landed the Mets Al Leiter.
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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