What they're saying about the Jason Bay signing

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Thumbnail image for Jason Bay headshot.jpgRemember last night when I said the Rob Neyer’s quote about the Jason Bay deal was a great example of “less is more”?  Well, I found a better example: no words that say it all.  Now here are some comments from people who weren’t quite as concise in their analysis:

  • Pete Abraham: “Look at this this way, Sox fans: Were you prepared to have Bay be the
    highest-paid player on the team? Because that is what he would have
    been.”
  • FanGraphs: The Mets can afford to overpay given their place on both the revenue
    curve and the win curve. However, this contract could really hamstring
    their situation in 2012/2013 as Bay declines, and it could also
    severely hamper the development of Fernando Martinez. This move appears
    to be one of the more significant overpays of the offseason, and it by
    no means vaults the Mets into the playoffs.
  • Joel Sherman, New York Post: Beltran didn’t really want to be a Met, but learned to like it here. So
    maybe this will work. But I have a feeling that in a few years the Mets
    will have regrets and will want to be flushing Bay.
  • Metsradamus: This is a good move. In a vacuum, it’s a great move. If you have doubts
    as to Bay’s ability to hit home runs in a large park, look at his home run chart. Check out the distances
    on the home runs, specifically on the home runs that are labeled as
    “lucky”. Even the lucky ones for the most part went 380. So don’t get
    sucked into the “Citi Field as Cavernous” line of thinking on this one.
    Citi Field was cavernous to the Punch, Judy, and Banjo hitters that
    roamed the earth in Queens last season. Visitors hit 81 home runs there
    in ’09. You know why? Because they didn’t suck, that’s why. So … easy
    does it, Sparky.
  • Amazin’ Avenue: No, he’s not Matt Holliday. Yes, the contract is kind of stupid. But
    Jason Bay is a heck of a consolation prize and one of those fabled
    “complementary players” that help Reyes/Wright reach a championship.
  • The Hardball Times: “I think the Mets won’t get their money’s worth from Jason Bay, and
    while he will help the team, he won’t have a dramatic impact on their
    pennant probabilities. That is, the extra “stretch” in money isn’t
    clearly justified here. On the other hand, Bay is a good fit for their needs, he won’t be
    blocking any star prospects and shouldn’t be a burden on the Mets’
    budget. So I’m glad they pulled the trigger on this deal.”

I’d post more of these, but they all basically break out the same way: Bay’s a good player who will make the Mets better in 2010, but he’s getting too long a deal for too much money and will likely be a millstone come 2012 or 2013.

My assumption is that the Mets are better positioned to have a bad contract on the books than a lot of other teams, and that winning now with Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Santana is the goal.  Though I’m not overly confident of the Mets’ chances to actually put it all together with that core — be it due to injuries or the lack of effective pitching beyond Santana — It’s probably the right goal. And for that reason this is probably the right signing, even if it’s not the best signing.

Marcus Stroman named World Baseball Classic MVP

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United States starter Marcus Stroman was named Most Valuable Player of the World Baseball Classic after helping lead the U.S. to its first ever WBC title on Wednesday night in an 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico. Stroman flirted with a no-hitter through six innings, but gave up a double to lead off the seventh before being relieved by Sam Dyson.

Stroman also pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dominican Republic in Pool C play on March 11. He struggled in Pool F play against Puerto Rico last Friday, surrendering four runs in 4 2/3 innings.

The WBC MVP award understandably goes to a player of the winning team. However, Wladimir Balentien of the Netherlands deserves special mention. In 26 at-bats during the WBC, he hit a double and had a WBC-high four home runs, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored while putting up a .615/.677/.1.115 batting line. That’s MVP-esque as far as this tournament is concerned.

U.S. blanks Puerto Rico 8-0 to win first World Baseball Classic title

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The United States handed Puerto Rico its first loss in the World Baseball Classic, winning 8-0 for its first title in the fourth iteration of the tournament.

Puerto Rico starter Seth Lugo was matching Marcus Stroman zero-for-zero through the first two innings, but the U.S. broke out for a pair of runs when Ian Kinsler deposited a two-run home run just beyond the fence in left-center at Dodger Stadium. The U.S. tacked on two more in the fifth on RBI singles from Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen, pushing the lead to 4-0.

Meanwhile, Stroman was dealing. The right-hander, normally seen in a Blue Jays uniform, held Puerto Rico hitless through his first six innings, giving up just a lone walk. The U.S. put together a long rally in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs on three hits, two walks, and a hit batter. Stroman came back out for the seventh but immediately served up a double down the left field line to Angel Pagan. U.S. manager Jim Leyland immediately lifted Stroman from the game, bringing in Sam Dyson who escaped the inning without any further damage.

Pat Neshek allowed a leadoff single to Yadier Molina to begin the eighth, but induced a double-play, then worked around a two-out walk by striking out Kenny Vargas to end the frame.

In the ninth, David Robertson took over. He induced an infield pop-up from Enrique Hernandez. After Pagan singled up the middle, Francisco Lindor sharply grounded out to Eric Hosmer at first base for the second out. Finally, Robertson closed it out, inducing Carlos Correa to ground out to third base, making the U.S. 8-0 victors over Puerto Rico to win the World Baseball Classic.

Puerto Rico had an admirable run, defeating Venezuela, Mexico, and Italy to get out of Pool D undefeated. Then, in Pool F, it beat Venezuela again as well as the U.S. and the Dominican Republic to move to the semifinals. It narrowly edged Netherlands 4-3 in the semifinals to get into the finals.

The U.S. lost to the D.R. but beat Canada and Colombia to get out of Pool C. In Pool F, the U.S. lost to Puerto Rico and defeated the D.R again as well as Venezuela. The U.S. took down Japan in the semifinals to advance to the finals to play Puerto Rico.

The U.S. joins Japan (twice, 2006 and ’09) and the Dominican Republic (2013) as countries to win the World Baseball Classic. The 2017 tournament was a rousing success, setting attendance records, drawing over one million fans to ballparks to take in the games. It will hopefully encourage commissioner Rob Manfred and others to make a concerted effort to make the 2021 tournament bigger and better.