Yesterday manager Terry Collins revealed that Jason Bay will no longer be an everyday player for the Mets, which led reporters to ask general manager Sandy Alderson if the team was considering simply eating the remainder of his contract while parting ways.
Alderson shot that down, telling Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York:
Certainly, there are times when it is appropriate to eat a contract. There are other times when it is not. Jason Bay is not going anywhere, nor is his contract.
This is the third season of a four-year, $66 million deal, so the Mets owe Bay about $5 million for the rest of this season, $16 million next season, and $17 million or a $3 million buyout for 2014. In other words, releasing Bay right now would involve eating $24 million, which is why the Mets will hope that he can provide some sort of value as a part-time player first.
Bay joined the Mets in 2010 as a 31-year-old with a career .280 batting average and .896 OPS, but since then he’s hit just .238 with a .695 OPS in 259 games, including .157 this year.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.