Maybe he should’ve signed with Beirut after all? Arguably one of the biggest free agent busts in New York Mets history, oft-injured OF Jason Bay (above) will take his diminished skills elsewhere next spring, as the club has announced a buyout of the remaining two years on his $66 million contract. Before you start high-fiving yourself over the end of the Bay Era, Amazin’ Avenue’s Eno Sarris reminds us the Canadian vet’s departure leaves the Mets with only Mike Baxter as the only healthy 2012 outfielders after Lucas Duda’s recent furniture-moving mishap.
It seems folly, in some ways, to let a viable outfielder go when it’s such a position of need. On the other hand, with declining power and patience, and bad defense to begin with, Bay has become a minus. He was literally worth almost a win less than replacement last year, and the year before he was barely above replacement. A back-of-the-envelope projection might not have Bay producing positive value next season.
That’s how you get a completely sunk cost. Even with sources telling Jon Heyman that Bay will receive his full salary from the Mets, a minus is a minus and a roster spot should be used for plus symbols. Even a flawed Valdespin would be above replacement in the corner outfield, most likely. And by pushing or stretching the payments out over time, the Mets may have gained some near-term financial flexibility from the deal even if they didn’t save any money overall.