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.
The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, they gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical. Stewart ended up rejecting the offer and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves on Stewart’s behalf.
The grievance sought to make Stewart a free agent it was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance was rejected. Stewart, unable to attain free agency, enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, a two-year school that would’ve made him eligible for the 2019 draft.
Now, Ken Rosenthal reports, Stewart has pulled a crazy Ivan and is heading to Japan, having signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. The terms of the deal aren’t known, but Rosenthal says Stewart was looking for a $7 million guarantee.
It’s a fascinating turn of events for Stewart who, this time last year, was considered perhaps the best amateur pitcher in baseball. Being lowballed and having his health questioned by the Braves may have been a wakeup call to Stewart, however, about his chances of finding a quick path the bigs in the U.S. If the shine did come off of his prospect status in the past year here, there’s every reason to believe that $7 million and a path to the bigs in Japan is a much better deal than several million less and a path to the bigs in America.
He’ll be worth watching over the next few years, that’s for sure. Both for his own sake and to see if, in this era of Major League Baseball’s capping of amateur bonuses and teams’ habit of manipulating service time, going overseas becomes more attractive to American high schoolers and college players.