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.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.