Last week Peter Gammons reported that Boston and Jason Bay “had agreed on the framework” of a four-year, $60 million contract in July, but the Red Sox pulled the offer when an MRI exam raised red flags about the health of his knees.
While appearing on WEEI radio today Gammons revealed a few more details:
They wanted him, but they were scared to death of his knees. I never got the impression from either side, from his agents or his club, that the shoulder was that big of a deal. But they were really afraid of both knees and that’s why they dropped the offer from four years to two years.
Somebody said to me, “Gee, there was only one team that went after him, the Mets.” I said, “Yeah, you don’t think that the Angels have requested MRIs? You don’t think the Mariners have requested? They weren’t in on him either.” The Mets were the only team in on Jason.
Bay did struggle with a knee injury in 2007, but for the most part he’s been among baseball’s most durable players, appearing in 892 of a possible 946 games since early 2004, including at least 145 games in each of the past five seasons. Certainly at 31 years old not missing much time in the past doesn’t preclude the Red Sox’s concerns about the future of Bay’s knees from being legitimate, but presumably even the Mets have a doctor on staff who can competently read an MRI. Right? Right?!
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.