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.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Marlins, Mets, and Yankees have had discussions about a three-team trade in which Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto would go to the Mets. It’s not known which other players were discussed in the deal, but Rosenthal notes that the Mets wouldn’t be willing to part with Noah Syndergaard if they are only getting Realmuto in return.
Realmuto, 27, was the best offensive catcher in baseball in 2018, batting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 531 plate appearances. He has two more years of team control remaining until he becomes eligible for free agency, adding to his value.
The Mets’ catching corps currently includes Kevin Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud, so Realmuto would be a significant upgrade. Such a trade would be the club’s second big splash of the offseason as the Mets finalized a trade to acquire second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from the Mariners earlier this month.
Interestingly, the Mets and Yankees haven’t made a deal involving major league players since December 2004, when the two sides swapped pitchers Mike Stanton and Félix Heredia, Rosenthal points out.