Did Mets Dodge A Bullet By Signing Bay Instead Of Lackey?

Short answer? No.

On Monday, Joe McDonald of ESPN, reported that Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey will miss most or all of the 2012 season after deciding to undergo Tommy John surgery on his ailing elbow. The elbow has been an issue for Lackey since the spring, but he and the team decided that some rest and rehab would improve his condition. It didn’t. Instead it resulted in one of the worst performances by a starting pitcher in decades. Tough break for Lackey, hopefully the TJ surgery works and he’ll be back on a mound soon.

Who knew that the news would spark a few, “I’m so glad the Mets didn’t sign Lackey” posts. Umm, really?

Are we forgetting who we did sign instead of Lackey that offseason? Apparently so because neither of the two Mets posts I read yesterday and today even mentioned his name. Want a hint? It was reported that he would rather play in Beirut than sign with the Mets.

Yes, that’s right, it’s Jason Bay.

Most of us remember that the Mets were intently pursuing both Lackey and Bay during that fateful offseason following the 2009 regular season. Both players were coming off solid seasons, but their former teams, the Angels and Red Sox, each sent out smoke signals that there were injury concerns and discontinued their pursuits to try and re-sign them.

The Red Sox ended up signing Lackey to a 5-year/$82.5M deal, while the Mets gave Bay a 4-year/$66M with a $17M option that vests with 600 PAs in 2013 or 500 PAs in both 2012, 2013. The Mets also included a full no-trade clause.

Considering how attainable the option is for Bay, they essentially got similar five-year deals.

I don’t think I need to adorn this post with how atrocious both Bay and Lackey have been since signing their new deals. Suffice it to say they both sucked big time. Suffice it to say they both are huge busts.

So how can any Met fan have the audacity to point fingers at Lackey and the Red Sox, and doing so while sitting on their own pile of poop?

Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog fame, ended his Lackey post with the always popular catch-all, “In other words, it’s not how much you spend… it’s how you spend it.”

I’ll add my own: It’s now what you say, it’s how you say it.

The last fanbase on earth to be laughing at or making light of the John Lackey deal and his impending TJ surgery, is most certainly the New York Mets fanbase. The Mets have become legendary when it comes to terrible free agent deals.

How can you say the Mets were lucky or dodged a bullet on Lackey, fresh off a season when the team paid Oliver Perez $12 million dollars this season to stay away from Flushing, and $18 million for a black hole in left field?