Mike Puma over at the New York Post reports that Jason Bay will have a job on Opening Day 2013, despite his absolutely horrific 2012.
Let’s have a little perspective on this, even though if you’ve been watching Bay all year, hearing that probably depresses you.
First: this is not likely to be a contending team in 2013. Second: this is not a team with money to spend this winter. Third: there’s no one who ought to be getting Jason Bay’s at-bats, development-wise.
With all of this in mind, it is understandable that the Mets would take the non-zero chance (don’t believe me that it’s non-zero? Here, look at Oliver Perez’s 2012) that Jason Bay regains his hitting stroke in 2013. They need someone to play left field. And they can’t go out and get another left fielder, especially since they’ll need a right fielder, center fielder, and to fill other areas as well.
Now, perhaps they can acquire a left fielder via trade this offseason. Maybe they’ll get a left fielder for Hannukah. At that point, they can simply release Bay. There’s certainly no hurry to do so. Maybe Sandy Alderson finds a trade partner on Bay, though that feels awfully unrealistic. After all, a team dealing for Bay would probably want to either deal a similar contract with a player struggling as poorly as Bay, or a more expensive contract for someone playing better than Bay. The former is essentially impossible, given how bad Bay has been in 2012, and the latter is essentially impossible, since the Mets can’t add salary this offseason. Hard to see it happening.
This could also be public posturing ahead of seeking out a trade. And if it is, good for the Mets. It makes a lot more sense than having your pitching coach insist publicly that Jenrry Mejia is a reliever, or that Ike Davis is a no-good carouser. That doesn’t exactly enhance trade value of your own roster’s players.
So don’t be in such a hurry to cut Jason Bay. In an organization with basic resources or the ability to compete, it already would have happened. But that’s not where the Mets are, and so getting rid of Bay doesn’t solve much other than getting rid of Bay.