Getting To Know Jason BayDecember 30, 2009
With the recent reports that the New York Mets will announce the signing of Jason Bay sometime next week (pending his physical), I decided to reach out to my blogger buddy “Done” (a big time Redsox fan) over at Get Out of My Ballpark to give me some insight into the type of player that is Jason Bay.
Below is an email exchange we had regarding Bay. We discuss Redsox fan reaction, Bay’s defensive liabilities, why “Done” thinks this is a bad deal for the Mets and more!
Question: What’s the reaction from Boston fans (including you) on Bay signing with the Mets?
Answer: Bay is a terrific player and a class act. The Sox obviously saw something in him that made them believe that he would not be a $ 15 million player at age 36 and didn’t want to include the fifth year of the deal. We are very happy with his move to the Mets because it takes him out of our path to the World Series and most of us who were paying attention for the past month or so knew he wasn’t coming back here.
Question: A lot has been made of Jason Bay being a defensive liability. Especially as he moves to a big park like Citi Field. As someone who watched him all of last summer, can you give some insight into he defensive liabilities?
Answer: Jason Bay is not a hugely awful defensive player, but he is not a great one. He was an upgrade over Manny, but that’s not a huge challenge. Mostly he will suffer in a ballpark with massive gaps like Citi Field, and he doesn’t always take the best path to the ball. In a left field the size of most new yorkers’ studio apartments (Fenway Park LF) this wasn’t a huge deal, but when we were on the road last summer it was pretty apparent.
Question: What’s the strongest part of Bay’s game?
Answer: Bay is a right handed power hitter. He is at his best when people are throwing him fastballs which he hammers with the best of them. Sliders down and away are another story and a large reason for his 162 ks last year.
Question: From what you’ve heard, what type of teammate and clubhouse guy is Bay?
Answer: Fantastic. Laid back, professional and dryly funny. He will never be an issue in the club house, even when the team isn’t dong well ( remember he spent half a decade in Pittsburgh).
Question: In 2009, Bay had career highs in homeruns (36) and RBI’s (119). Considering he’s now in a lineup with Wright and Beltran but also playing in a big park like Citi Field, do you think Bay will continue to put up these type of numbers?
Answer: This is why it is a bad deal for the Mets. Citi field made Wrights power numbers drop by 2/3 last season and though Bay won’t have the same drop off, I think 25 homeruns would be a more likely number. He may have slightly better batting average because he will hit balls that might have been caught at Fenway but will be hits in his new home. The 119 RBI is a function of guys being on base ahead of him so that might still be up there. Look for a line more like .280/25/95.
Question: Feel free to add anything else.
Answer: Bay is the kind of player the Mets should be shying away from with the facts of their new home. They should be concentrating on pitching and defense and adding left handed power if anything. Given that he is a class act who has shown he can perform very well on the big stage and I hope he is terrific in flushing. He will likely be able to put up very good numbers for another year or two before he begins his decline and will be a good force in the Mets clubhouse.
Thanks to “Done” for taking the time to answer my questions. Be sure to check him out over at Get Out of My Ballpark.