Coming Home (ish)
The Mariners finally made a move while at the Winter meetings. While the Seattle franchise has been linked to just about every free agent that can hit above .220, the M’s agreed to terms with Mets outfielder Jason Bay.
I had a rush of emotion about this when I heard about it. First I got caught up in the memories of Bay’s 36 home runs for the Red Sox in 2009 and all the hype surrounding him in my fantasy league in 2010.
Luckily I traded him prior to the start to the season, because he only played in 95 games that season and hit only 6 home runs. The glory of the signing quickly turned into a feeling of impending vomit.
Much like a meal at McDonalds, it tastes so good and digests so badly. I’m not sure what the Mariners terms are with Bay at this point, but I imagine that the Mets will carry most of the 21 Million that he is owed on his contract.
Here is a disturbing thought.
Of course when you put it that way it makes total sense why the Mariners would sign him. You can’t fight with destiny.
All that being said here are 5 things M’s fans should expect out of this signing.
1. Bay won’t make it past the physical
The major reason behind Bay’s demise has been injury. Just in 2012, the 34-year-old Bay was injured 4 times with a jammed ring finger, A fracture rib, a concussion and a bruised calf muscle.
It sounds like to me that if me makes the team the Mariners hope is that Franklin Gutierrez and Bay can coordinate their DL schedule so that the M’s can keep a right handed bat in the line-up.
2. Bay will be a liability in the outfield
The Mariners are a team built around pitching. There is no doubt about that fact. However, a good pitcher is only as good as the defense behind him. This will be even more of a necessity for Seattle as they are in the midst of moving in the fences at Safeco.
Bay has never been a spectacular defender. His career fielding percentage is a dismal .792. The closest player I can compare Bay to from former Mariners would be Jack Cust.
A guy that can play in the outfield, but really shouldn’t be holding a glove at all.
3. Bay will be the DH
Unlike the Mets the Mariners have the opportunity to use Bay as the DH.
This really is the best case scenario as it eliminates most of the injury problems as well as removing his poor defensive rating.
If Bay can stay healthy and adjust to the unique style and rhythm of being a hitter only, there is a chance he could get in 500+ at bats.
In every season in which he has done so he has hit over 20 home runs.
However, Bay has only played as a DH in 2 games during his career. Beside the fact that the Mariners have used the DH role as a rotating rest day for their young players.
Another issue is the fact that Jesus Montero is really looking at a DH career as well. That could mean a DH job share, which I’m not sure would really work for Bay who seems to need consistency.
4. Bay will be the opposite of Chone Figgins
Bay is originally from British Columbia Canada, and actually makes Seattle his offseason home his wife is from Kirkland, and he lives there. So the truth of the matter is that this is likely a move that will help Bay’s mental game.
He will be closer to home, used in a new roll, looked at as a veteran and have a chance to bounce back in his career. If the Mariners get anything close to average career numbers (.269/28HR/98RBI/.848OPS) they will be laughing instead of being laughed at, which is normally the case.
5. Bay will bring some respect to the organization
Though this is a long shot, remember that Jason Bay was the 2004 National League Rookie of the Year, 2009 Silver Slugger and a 3 time All Star.
Even though he has struggled the last few years a move like this could…could…be something of a miracle.
Likely not, but maybe.
And a glimmer of hope is better than nothing.
Nothing is what I have come to expect from the Mariners, so even if it doesn’t work, he has met my expectations.