Those Mets fans looking forward to the day this off-season that the Mets admit their mistake with Jason Bay and release him will have a disappointing winter — a report says the Mets have no intention of cutting their failed former slugger.
A team source tells the New York Post that there is “zero” chance the Mets will eat the $18 million Bay is owed for 2013.
“He’s a part of this team,” the source told the newspaper.
The Mets have shown a willingness to release players with big money left on their deals — witness Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo and their $18 million for 2011. But not with Bay, apparently.
This is a mistake. The Mets have given Bay more than enough chances; from a baseball standpoint, they just need to move on from him. They also need to do it to show the fans they are serious about building a winning team, money notwithstanding.
The only way this could work is if they go out and get another starting left fielder (actually, they need three new outfielders, but that’s besides the point) and leave Bay on the bench. This way, the Mets can move on, but also keep Bay with the hopes of getting something out of him as a pinch hitter and a late-innings defensive replacement. Bay is also seen as a positive influence in the clubhouse, and there is some value in that.
But really, the Mets should just release him. I think they fear he will turn his career around with another team while they are still paying the bulk of his contract. Bay has shown no indication that he can do that. And even if were to do that, there is no guarantee he would have done it in Flushing.
Let’s just move on.