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Do You Pay Jason Bay?

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“No thank you. I don’t care if this guy is free and doesn’t cost the Red Sox a dime I still wouldn’t want him.”

- Michael Felger
                                                                                      
The Boston Red Sox and free agent Jason Bay are still far apart on reaching a contractual agreement for the 2010 season and beyond. Can the Red Sox afford to lose arguably the most coveted player in this year’s free agent class? The reality is Jason Bay may be more valuable than you think.

Felger: “There are only two quality players in this market I would want on my team and they just so happen to play the same position. Jason Bay and Matt Holliday are clearly the class of this free agent year. The possibility of Adrian Beltre in this lineup along with the addition of Marco Scutaro is supposed to excite me? I just don’t see how this is going to come together if that’s the only thing Theo Epstein is going to do this offseason. I mean we don’t even know how old Beltre is do we? He’s listed at age 30 but he could be 34 or 35 easily. You know how those Dominican players tend to be older. This guy went from 48 home runs five years ago to eight last season?! And he goes down to the Dominican and trains with Angel Presinal who is notorious for providing big leaguers with steroids. No thank you. I don’t care if this guy is free and doesn’t cost the Red Sox a dime I still wouldn’t want him.”

Mazz: “There are only two guys on the free agent market that I would give long term deals to and they are two left fielders. Jason Bay and Matt Holiday and that’s it. The rest of the guys in this free agent class are a dime a dozen and shouldn’t be given deals beyond two years at the maximum. You’re exactly right Mike. The market is horrible right now. There was talent last year and there will be a lot of talent next year, but this season it just so happens to be slim pickings out there. I never was excited by Beltre as a player. He was never my guy that I would bring in for an extender period of time and sign to a major deal. But if the Red Sox were able to agree upon a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of two years for $20 million I think it could be a possibility the Red Sox bring him in. They need to start by signing one of these two players, Holliday or Bay. If they don’t get one of these two in this free agent class then they are in serious trouble. It won’t even matter how they plug the rest of the holes on this team.”

The Collin-tary: As much as I would like to think Jason Bay is expendable, I’ve come to terms with the fact that if the Red Sox want to be competitive in 2010 they must resign their left fielder. Despite Bay’s quiet demeanor and batting average (.267 in ’09), there is no way the Red Sox could replace him. Even the great Matt Holliday would not suffice unless Red Sox fans are satisfied having a left fielder even weaker defensively than Manny Ramirez. Let’s take a closer look at Mr. Bay’s resume.

    Most Seasons 35+ HR, 100+ RBI, 100+ Runs, 10+ SB

Red Sox History                              

                                          Season(s)

Carl Yastrzemski         1967, ’70

Jimmie Foxx                  1936-37

Jason Bay                      2009

Nomar Garciaparra      1998

Most Seasons 30+ HR, 100+ RBI, 100+ Runs

Active OF

Ken Griffey Jr.           6

Vladimir Guerrero    6

Manny Ramirez        6

Gary Sheffield          6

Jason Bay                4 <<

Andruw Jones         4

>> All since 2005 

Jason Bay vs Manny Ramirez, Since July 2008 Trade              

                     Bay     Ramirez

Games           200       157

Hits                 196       176

BA                  .274      .327

HR                   45         36

RBI                 156       116

OPS               .915      1.047 

Should the Red Sox sign Jason Bay to a long term contract? Can the Red Sox compete with the Yankees in 2010 without him? If the Red Sox were to lose Bay, would you give up hope for next season?

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