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.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.