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Jason Bay Isn’t Getting Traded for Josh Beckett

Posted By Howard Megdal On July 30, 2012 @ 10:19 am In Today's Mets headlines | Comments Disabled

Look, I get it. You don’t want Jason Bay to play for the Mets anymore.

It makes sense. Jason Bay, since returning from the disabled list on June 8, has posted a slash line, in 69 plate appearances of .095/.174/.190. To put that in perspective, Ike Davis didn’t have a stretch nearly as bad in his first two months of struggles. That’s a .364 OPS, which is lower than the season OPS marks of Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, Chris Young and R.A. Dickey. And Jason Bay, it must be said, hasn’t turned in a quality start all season.

Bay is owed $16 million this year. He’ll get $19 million next year, with a $16 million salary and $3 million buyout of his 2014 option, which the Mets obviously won’t pick up. It vests automatically if he gets 600 plate appearances next year, which is also obviously not happening unless Bay is reborn on the field.

So a team will be picking up approximately six million in salary this year, $19 million next year, or $25 million in total, for the guy who cannot hit at the level of a major league pitcher right now. Which is to say, no team will be doing that.

Ah, but Josh Beckett! He’s struggling. His ERA has ballooned from 2.89 last tear to 4.57 this year. His strikeouts are down from 8.2/9 to 6.8/9. There’s danger everywhere you look in his perfomance. And he’s not only owed the remainder of his $15.75 million this year, but $15.75 million next year and $15.75 million in 2014. That’s even more than the Mets owe Jason Bay! It’s effectively $37 million.

So would Boston make that swap to save $12 million? Highly unlikely. Can the Mets add $12 million in salary obligation right now? Highly unlikely. Can the Mets take on more of Bay’s money to bring Beckett into the fold? Even unlikelier. Would Josh Beckett waive his right to dictate where he’d be dealt, as a player with 10-and-5 rights, to join the Mets? Unlikely, but it doesn’t matter, because of the previous answers in this very paragraph.

Sorry, this doesn’t look like it is happening. And a really handy guide to Jason Bay trades going forward is this:

Either the Mets take someone making as much money as Jason Bay, but not performing as well back. Or else the trade isn’t happening. And no one is making as much money as Jason Bay while performing worse. That’s the sad reality.

The Mets might cut their losses and release Jason Bay. Jason Bay might retire. These are things in the realm of the plausible.

Jason Bay isn’t getting traded. Especially not for someone useful, like Josh Beckett.

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