The Mets did the inevitable and finally cut their losses while agreeing to part ways with the much-maligned Jason Bay on Wednesday afternoon. This news comes as great relief for Mets’ fans worldwide, who now have the comfort of knowing the Mets will have no obligation of trotting out an underperforming outfielder- big contract or not-everyday.
This had to happen. The Mets’ front office wanted to get it out of the way, as Sandy Alderson is now in California at the GM meetings working with a new, clean slate.
While the Mets will ultimately have to swallow a lot of money-not to mention pride-this parting of ways was beneficial to all parties involved. The Mets can now move forward in putting together an outfield void of one big albatross. Bay can move on too. Bay is now free to sign with anyone and with a clear conscious and out of the New York spotlight maybe Bay could rebound in some other small market. If there was anyone who needs a change of scenery it is most certainly Bay. Hey it worked for A.J. Burnett.
Bay’s story is an exercise in caution. After signing a four-year deal with the Mets in 2010 for $66 million Bay was supposed to pick up where he left off in his last season in Boston where he posted a .267/.384/.537 slash line to go with 36 home runs and 119 RBI’s. However, Bay started off on a bad foot, battled concussion and rib injuries, and never endeared himself to the Mets’ faithful en route to a miserable stint with New York.
Bay hit only .234 in his three wretched years with the Mets. Signed here to add some thump to the lineup, Bay only produced 26 home runs and 124 RBI’s in 288 games as a Met. It was an experiment that failed on so many levels.
It was that type of frivolous spending why Alderson was brought to Queens. Alderson was to eventually rid the Mets of bloated contracts and work with a more balanced payroll while working from the farm up. Now Alderson can go about upgrading the outfield while not having to worry about Bay. Sure, the Mets still have to pay Bay his money, but the deal is likely to be deferred over the next few years.
Now there will be no black cloud hanging over the Mets’ clubhouse. No longer will Terry Collins have to pencil in Bay because of his contract. No longer will he or the team have to answer about the maddening unproductivity of Bay.
Look, Bay is a standup guy in a world short on them. Bay always hustled, always gave 110 percent, always was coachable and never made excuses. However, for both sides to move on a split was not only refreshing but necessary.
As Alderson reiterated on Wednesday this is a results-oriented business and despite Bay’s good-guy demeanor and attitude, this was a decision that needed to be made in order for the Mets to move forward.
So, from a personal standpoint I’ll cheer for Bay as he is one of the good guys, but the Mets and Bay was a marriage that needed to be ended. And thankfully it did on Wednesday.
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