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.