Jason Bay has missed well over a month with a non-displaced fractured rib, but he’s finally close to making his way back to the Mets’ lineup.
According to Matt Ehalt of ESPN New York, Bay is set to serve as the designated hitter this weekend in rehab games with High-A St. Lucie. The hope is that he’ll be able to play the outfield by Monday and return shortly thereafter.
Bay, 33, was hitting .240/.316/.460 with three homers, five RBI and a .776 OPS over 15 games prior to suffering the injury on April 23. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Scott Hairston and Mike Baxter have all logged significant playing time during his absence, but Mets manager Terry Collins has already said that Bay will “absolutely” get his starting left field job back.
The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.
Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.
While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.