What they're saying about the Jason Bay signing

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Thumbnail image for Jason Bay headshot.jpgRemember last night when I said the Rob Neyer’s quote about the Jason Bay deal was a great example of “less is more”?  Well, I found a better example: no words that say it all.  Now here are some comments from people who weren’t quite as concise in their analysis:

  • Pete Abraham: “Look at this this way, Sox fans: Were you prepared to have Bay be the
    highest-paid player on the team? Because that is what he would have
    been.”
  • FanGraphs: The Mets can afford to overpay given their place on both the revenue
    curve and the win curve. However, this contract could really hamstring
    their situation in 2012/2013 as Bay declines, and it could also
    severely hamper the development of Fernando Martinez. This move appears
    to be one of the more significant overpays of the offseason, and it by
    no means vaults the Mets into the playoffs.
  • Joel Sherman, New York Post: Beltran didn’t really want to be a Met, but learned to like it here. So
    maybe this will work. But I have a feeling that in a few years the Mets
    will have regrets and will want to be flushing Bay.
  • Metsradamus: This is a good move. In a vacuum, it’s a great move. If you have doubts
    as to Bay’s ability to hit home runs in a large park, look at his home run chart. Check out the distances
    on the home runs, specifically on the home runs that are labeled as
    “lucky”. Even the lucky ones for the most part went 380. So don’t get
    sucked into the “Citi Field as Cavernous” line of thinking on this one.
    Citi Field was cavernous to the Punch, Judy, and Banjo hitters that
    roamed the earth in Queens last season. Visitors hit 81 home runs there
    in ’09. You know why? Because they didn’t suck, that’s why. So … easy
    does it, Sparky.
  • Amazin’ Avenue: No, he’s not Matt Holliday. Yes, the contract is kind of stupid. But
    Jason Bay is a heck of a consolation prize and one of those fabled
    “complementary players” that help Reyes/Wright reach a championship.
  • The Hardball Times: “I think the Mets won’t get their money’s worth from Jason Bay, and
    while he will help the team, he won’t have a dramatic impact on their
    pennant probabilities. That is, the extra “stretch” in money isn’t
    clearly justified here. On the other hand, Bay is a good fit for their needs, he won’t be
    blocking any star prospects and shouldn’t be a burden on the Mets’
    budget. So I’m glad they pulled the trigger on this deal.”

I’d post more of these, but they all basically break out the same way: Bay’s a good player who will make the Mets better in 2010, but he’s getting too long a deal for too much money and will likely be a millstone come 2012 or 2013.

My assumption is that the Mets are better positioned to have a bad contract on the books than a lot of other teams, and that winning now with Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Santana is the goal.  Though I’m not overly confident of the Mets’ chances to actually put it all together with that core — be it due to injuries or the lack of effective pitching beyond Santana — It’s probably the right goal. And for that reason this is probably the right signing, even if it’s not the best signing.

Young Blue Jays say they aren’t intimidated by top seed Rays

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) When the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays opened the pandemic-delayed season a little over two months ago, there was little to indicate the AL East rivals might meet again to begin the playoffs.

While the Rays launched the truncated 60-game schedule with expectations of making a strong bid for their first division title in a decade, the Blue Jays generally were viewed as an immensely talented young team still years away from postseason contention.

Tampa Bay didn’t disappoint, shrugging off a slow start to go a league-best 40-20 and claim the No. 1 seed in the AL playoffs that begin Tuesday.

Lefty Blake Snell, who’ll start Game 1 of the best-of-three wild-card series against Toronto at Tropicana Field, also isn’t surprised that the eighth-seeded Blue Jays earned a spot, too.

The Rays won six of 10 games between the teams during the regular season, but were outscored 48-44 and outhomered 17-11.

And while Toronto (32-28) lacks the playoff experience Tampa Bay gained last season when the Rays beat Oakland in the AL wild-card game before falling to Houston in the divisional round, the Blue Jays are building with exciting young players such as Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

“They’ve got a lot of young guys who can ball over there,” Snell said. “It’s going to be fun to compete and see how we do.”

Rays defensive whiz Kevin Kiermaier said Tampa Bay, in the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the second time franchise history, will not take the Blue Jays lightly.

“We know we’re playing a real good team,” Kiermaier said. “It’s not going to be easy, regardless of what a team is seeded.”

The Blue Jays, who’ll start right-hander Matt Shoemaker, aren’t conceding anything.

Bichette said he and his teammates respect how good Tampa Bay is, but are not intimidated by facing the No. 1 seed.

“I would say that we didn’t care who we played. I would say that we didn’t mind playing Tampa, that’s for sure. We’re familiar with them. We’ve played them well,” Bichette said.

“I think we’re confident in our ability against them. Our talent matches up well,” Bichette added. “We think if we play well we’ve got a good chance.”

NO FANS

The stands at Tropicana Field will be empty, leaving players to wonder what the atmosphere will be like for the playoffs.

Tampa Bay routinely rank at or near the bottom of the majors in attendance, but usually pack the stands in the domed stadium during the postseason.

“It will be different,” Bichette said. “Normally when you think of your first postseason you think 40,000, you think about not being able to think it’s so loud, stuff like that.”

The Blue Jays open the playoffs near where they hold spring training in Dunedin, Florida. It’s been a winding road for Toronto, which played its home games in Buffalo, New York, at the site of its Triple-A affiliate after the Canadian government barred the Blue Jays from hosting games at their own stadium because of coronavirus concerns.

CONFIDENT RAYS

Tampa Bay’s five-game loss to Houston in last year’s divisional round was a source of motivation during the regular season.

“It definitely lit a fire under everybody. It really showed us we belong. … We gave them a tough series,” second baseman Brandon Lowe said.

“We won the wild-card game. We belong in the postseason. I think that did a lot for us to understand that we should be in the postseason and we can go a lot farther. We know what to expect this time around. I think everyone in our clubhouse expects to be playing until the end of October,” he said.

CLOSE FRIENDS

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash has the Rays in the playoffs for the second time. His close friend and former Rays third base and bench coach Charlie Montoyo is in his second year as manager of the Blue Jays, who last made the playoffs in 2016.

“Pretty special,” Cash said of his relationship with Montoyo.

“I really learned a lot from him being around him. The way he carried himself. His hand print is throughout this organization,” Cash added. “A pretty big impact and a positive one. … When they clinched I talked to him, we face-timed at 1:30 in the morning. I’m so happy for him.”