Jason Bay has either been hurt, has stunk on ice or both since signing his $66 million deal before the 2010 season. And there is little if any chance, it seems, that he’s going to miraculously be a good player in its final year in 2013. But the Mets have decided that the roster spot he occupies is not worth as much as having him around next season. Mike Puma of the New York Post reports:
As Jason Bay considers the various “scenarios” regarding his baseball future, he can eliminate the possibility the Mets will swallow the $19 million he is owed and release him this offseason.
According to a team source, there is “zero” chance the beleaguered outfielder will be released this winter or asked to compete for a job in spring training.
Bay is owed $16 million next year and is guaranteed another $3 million for the buyout the Mets will certainly exercise as opposed to that 2014 option. On the season he is hitting .155/.231/.294 in 67 games. Since joining the Mets he is hitting .233/.317/.369 with 26 homers and a .686 OPS in 285 games.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.