UPDATE: After predicting that Jason Bay would not play again this season, Mets manager Jerry Manuel backtracked from those comments after Friday’s game.
“It appears that I was a little premature in saying Jason Bay wouldn’t
be back,” Manuel said. “It appears he is recovering nicely and that
there is a possibility he will be back to play.”
Still, it’s doubtful. Multiple team officials tell Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that Bay’s headaches have yet to subside for a 48-hour period.
Friday, 9:05 pm: This isn’t entirely shocking news, but Mets manager Jerry Manuel told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that he doesn’t expect Jason Bay to return this season.
“That’s the way I see it. I could be way out of line, or way out of bounds. But that’s the way I see it.”
A team official told Rubin that Bay is unable to go 48 hours without a recurrence of concussion-related symptoms. The Mets obviously aren’t going to take any chances with him, especially after the way they botched the Ryan Church situation in 2008.
Bay’s season was already a disappointment even before he crashed face-first into the left field wall in Los Angeles on July 23, but now we can safely call it a full-fledged disaster. If what Manuel says is true, the 31-year-old outfielder wraps up his first year in Queens with a .259/.347/.402 batting line to go along with just six homers and 46 RBI.
Signed to a back-loaded four-year, $66 million contract, Bay is owed $16 million over each of the next three seasons. This may sound strange, but I found myself rooting against his $17 million option vesting for 2014 from the moment he signed with the Mets over the winter. Now I’m hoping it actually happens. If it does, that means he would have managed to get back on the field and hopefully, continue to be a productive player. What can I say, I’m all about redemption.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.