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
  • 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.

Report: Indians have been in touch with Shane Victorino

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 01:  Shane Victorino #18 of the Los Angeles Angels makes a catch for an out against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 1, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
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Outfield is a glaring need for the Indians, but they aren’t expected to shop for any of the big names on the free agent market. Instead, they are looking at potential bargains on short-term deals. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that Shane Victorino falls under this classification and that the veteran outfielder is among many names the Indians have contacted.

Victorino, who turns 35 on Monday, has been limited to just 101 games over the past two seasons due to injury. Coming off back surgery, he batted just .230/.308/.292 with one home run and seven RBI over 204 plate appearances this past season between the Red Sox and Angels while battling calf and hamstring injuries. It’s hard to see the upside at this point, but the Indians could promise him regular at-bats, especially with Michael Brantley likely to miss the start of the 2016 season following shoulder surgery.

The Indians have also reportedly discussed trading either Danny Salazar or Carlos Carrasco for a bat, which represents their best chance of adding a big name to their outfield this winter.

Korean slugger Byung-ho Park is reportedly traveling to Minnesota

Byung-ho Park

Could the Twins and Korean slugger Byung-ho Park be close to finalizing a contract?

According to Naver Sports (via a translated report from Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press), Park is scheduled to travel to the United States on Sunday. The 29-year-old is expected to make a quick stop in Chicago to meet with his agent, Alan Nero, before coming to Minnesota to see Twins officials and take a physical exam. If all goes well, a contract could be finalized as soon as next week.

The Twins bid $12.85 million last month to secure exclusive negotiating rights with Park. The deadline to complete a deal is December 8. If a deal is not worked out, Park would remain with the Nexen Heroes in the KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) and the Twins would not have to pay the posting fee.

Right now, it’s unclear how far along the two sides are in negotiations. However, Berardino hears that a guarantee in the range of $20-30 million is reasonable to expect.

Park, a two-time MVP in the KBO, has amassed 105 home runs in 268 games over the past two seasons. It’s hard to tell how those numbers will translate, even after the success of Jung Ho Kang this season, but the Twins are hoping he can be a middle-of-the-order force.

Miami Police Department considers Yasiel Puig case closed

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig waits to bat during batting practice prior to a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

We have more details about Yasiel Puig‘s reported “brawl” at a bar in Miami. And while it’s a regrettable situation, it appears to be less serious than previously believed.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Major Delrish Moss of the Miami Police Department confirmed that Puig was involved in a fight with a bouncer. However, Moss described it more as a “scuffle” than a “brawl.” The Dodgers outfielder suffered injuries to his face, including a swollen left eye, while the bouncer was left with a “busted lip” among other minor facial injuries.

While the bouncer alleged that he was sucker-punched by Puig, Moss said that neither were interested in pressing charges. As a result, the Miami Police Department considers the case closed.

TMZ reported that the fight with the bouncer took place after Puig got into a physical altercation with his sister. However, Moss said that “no shoving was alleged” and that “to the best of our knowledge, the only physical altercation was between the bouncer and Puig.”

Major League Baseball is still expected to investigate the incident under their new domestic violence policy.

Erik Johnson likely to open 2016 in the White Sox rotation

DENVER, CO - APRIL 09:  Starting pitcher Erik Johnson #45 of the Chicago White Sox delivers against the Colorado Rockies during Interleague play at Coors Field on April 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the White Sox 10-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
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With the White Sox losing Jeff Samardzija to free agency, Erik Johnson will likely get a shot to contribute out of the rotation to open up the 2016 season, GM Rick Hahn said in a conference call on Wednesday, per a report from MLB.com’s Scott Merkin.

“As we sit here today, I think it will be an opportunity for Erik Johnson to convert on sort of the return to form he showed back in 2015 when he was International League pitcher of the year for [Triple-A] Charlotte,” Hahn said. “Obviously, he got some starts in September and continued to show the progress in Chicago he had shown in the Minor Leagues over the course of the last season.

“So if Opening Day were today, then I think Johnson is penciled in to that spot in the rotation right now. In all probability, once we get closer to spring, there will be some competition for him to earn that spot. But if we were strictly looking at today, then I would think Johnson has the inside track on filling Samardzija’s innings.”

Johnson was called up from Triple-A Charlotte in September and made six starts, allowing 14 runs (13 earned) on 32 hits and 17 walks with 30 strikeouts in 35 innings. That followed up an impressive five months in the minors where he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 136/41 K/BB ratio across 132 2/3 innings.

Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and MLB.com each included Johnson on their top-100 prospect lists, ranking him 63rd, 67th, and 70th, respectively. The right-hander was selected by the White Sox in the second round of the 2011 draft.