The Meaning of Bay's Contract in Seattle

Q.  So, why wouldn't the M's take advantage of Bay's desire to play here?

A.  I don't doubt for a second that Zduriencik, like Taro and others, disliked

  1. Bay's RH flyball bat in Safeco
  2. Bay's age at the end of the contrat
  3. The fact that Bay isn't a plus defender

Add those things up, and I will cheerfully admit that this might not be the guy you want to build around -- and that Zduriencik might well have been reasoning this way.

As Zduriencik said, you've got to have a RH hitter in there somewhere.  But this RH hitter can be your #2 or #3 offensive player, not your #1 offensive player.

I take the pass on Bay to be a good sign.  The M's passed on Lackey and wound up with better.   Presumably when Zduriencik pulls the trigger on his premium MOTO bat, it will be a lefty slugger with an EYE.

That's goodness. 


Q.  What do you infer that the M's offered Bay?

A.  Well, they were rumored to be in significant talks with him.  And the 5th year he got in New York proves that there was back-pressure on Bay's market value.

It's naive to think that the Mets would go from 4/$66m to 5/$80m on Bay, when his best offer elsewhere was 3/$30.  MLB franchises aren't run by morons.

The M's don't do anything but make idiots of themselves to call Bay and offer 3/$30.  If they were talking to him, the least they were talking was $3/40 with a 4th year vest, something like that.   Give the M's more credit than to think that they represent themselves in the marketplace like that.


Q.  And why wouldn't the M's be able to work out a sales slip, if they had a motivated seller on the line?

A.  We don't doubt that the M's were lowballing Bay to start with -- "lowball" meaning 3 years 4th year vest, $12-14m, or something.

But what's interesting is that, since the M's added Cliff Lee, the word is that all of a sudden they don't have a lot of money to spend.

Have seen this report in a couple of national places -- other GM's get a vibe like the M's don't want to spend much more money.


Q.  Why would adding Lee blockade the 010 payroll?  That only added $9m.

A.  The Lee thing happened suddenly, according to all reports.  It was almost like Monday the Phillies bring it up, Friday the deal is set.

Excellent agility, but my theory is -- now you've got to go back and re-write all of your 2011-15 plans.   The M's would now be sketching out 2011-15 payrolls with realistic figures for both Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez incorporated.

And jockeying with ownership.  LOTS of jockeying.  Hey, if Lee is making $19m per, and Felix is getting the same (of course), and you want to win it, we need a MOTO hitter somewhere...

That is a key factor that may have made Bay more unrealistic.  Now, even if you do add him at a discount over 4 seasons, you're not going to be adding any other premium hitters for a long time.  He better be one that fits the park.

I'll go along with that,

Dr D


Taro's picture

I kind of doubt that the Ms were ever really seriously in on Bay. Its sounds almost like Boston and NYM were the only teams with big offers.
This is a good sign. Seriously. Bay at that price is a terrible idea.


What's the right price for Bay?
If $12m is correct, $16m is terrible?  Or maybe Bay and his 7.5 RC/27 are worth $4m?  :- )
... If I were a Bay cynic, I can see how I'd look at $16m as a bit of a reach. 
But this whole idea that Jason blinkin' Bay deserves to be paid as though he were a mediocre ballplayer, well.... I've detailed my reasons for believing otherwise.

Taro's picture

Nobody is arguing that Bay needs to be paid like a mediocre ballplayer. He certainly isn't a superstar either though, and this contract pays him as though he will be.
Most likely he'll be a 3.5 WAR type for a year or two while the Mets are giving him slightly above market $s, then in the long-term hes going to be massively overpaid.

OBF's picture

He certainly isn't a superstar either though, and this contract pays him as though he will be.
First I would have to wonder how you define superstar if the cleanup hitter for the Redsox last year, a guy who is top 10 in the AL in OPS every year is certainly not a superstar then there are what only 5 superstars in the MLB?
Secondly I think that the current economic depression has over skewed people's ideas about what the economics of baseball is.  16 mil a year is NOT superstar money.  It is minor star money.  Even in today's rocky financial times superstar money is still 22 million+ dollars a year AND 5+ years.  It is true that GM's are handing out fewer superstar contracts than a few years ago, and Bay's contract PROVES that.  A couple of years ago Bay would of had 3 or 4 20+ million dollar contracts in his hand wondering which to sign, because GM's were handing out money hand over fist.  IMHO this is a JUDICIOUS contract!  
Having said that I don't think that it would have been a good contract for Seattle to offer because Bay is not exactly their type of player, and doc's last argument above about it hampering payroll flexibility in the future rings true to me.  In a vacuum though I wish Seattle had Bay's talents for only 16 mil a year!


Mediocre ballplayers are worth $9-10m.  Two wins above RLP, times $4.5 to $5.1m.
If $15m is a horrible overpay, what's the suggested salary for Bay?  $11-12m?  Spitting distance from 2-WAR territory.


Your 2nd-to-last paragraph is especially telling.
I can definitely get with the position that says, Bay is the wrong guy for Seattle.  That is eminently reasonable.  It's when folks say that $15m is a horrible OVERpay, doesn't pass the smell test, is incorrect, etc., that I grab a ping-pong paddle.  :- )
It seems quite obvious to me that $15m is reasonable for Bay, in this market, short-term anyway.  That's not where the anti-Bay amigos should have been framing the debate.
The debate should have been framed as, years 4-5, this guy will be an albatross in Safeco.  That argument had legs.
All moot now.  The jack is apparently going to Felix and Lee, or let's hope :- )

Taro's picture

I would only want to pay Bay $3.5-4mil per W this offseason. There are much better deals out there this offseason. $4.5mil is a slight overpay right now.
A deal that buys his best case scenario in the short term and expects him to maintain it for the next 5 years is one that is a poor investment IMO.


The historical average for W's is $4.5 to $5.1 per win.  It's fine to say "we would only want to pay $3.5m right now."   The problem comes when we then take our personal opinion and call it correct.
$3.5 to $4.0m per win is 10 to 30% below average.  Jason Bay was one of two (2) marquee hitters in the FA pool.   You might prefer to underpay, but we don't get to redefine IMHO.
It's not often that there are only two hitting stars for an entire winter.  If anything, market pressures should lead to higher sales prices, not lower ones.


That's perfectly reasonable.
There are houses out there going for $500,000, but for my lifestyle... one might only be worth $400,000 to me.  That's fine!
It's a completely different thing to say that somebody else, paying dot-on average per square foot, is being a dummy.
Bay's a cleanup hitter, and was going to be worth his paycheck to somebody.  I agree that his fit to the Mariners was problematic.  :- )

Taro's picture

Ya, and considering the market is down right now it wasn't the greatest solution. I see the Mets really regretting that deal by year 3 or 4.

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.