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.

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

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Elsa/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

Carlos+Correa+Houston+Astros+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Ctyu5RiU3SWl
Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.