Let’s face it, the great Jason Bay experiment has not worked. No need to go over the statistics — we all know they are poor. The only way to get rid of him would be to trade him for another disappointing player with an equally bad contract. One such player is Adam Dunn.
After hitting his annual 40 home runs, Dunn has just 11 homers and is hitting an amazingly paltry .165 in the first year of his free agent contract with the White Sox. Are the Sox ready to give up on him after just one season?
Let’s get the money out of the way. Bay has two more years left on his contract at $35 million. That includes a $3 million buyout, (we won’t get into his K-Rod-like vesting option). Dunn has three years and $44 million remaining, so Chicago would have to send $4.5 million to the Mets to even it out.
A trade could work for both players. Bay would go back to the American League where he did very well, and Dunn would go back to the National League where he hit the aforementioned 40 home runs per year.
There are drawbacks for the Mets, of course. It will cost them an extra $4.5 million, plus if Dunn doesn’t turn things around, he will be around for three crummy years instead of two for Bay. But the Mets can justify releasing him if he doesn’t work out after two years by saying, Hey, we were committed to two more years for Bay, so it will be the same for Dunn. If Dunn does go back to his power-hitting ways, then the Mets will get him for that third year for the equivalent of a bargain $4.5 million.
Then there is defense. Despite his poor hitting, Bay has played an excellent left field. Dunn is a liability in the outfield. You can put up with it if he’s slamming 40 homers, not if he’s hitting 10.
Another problem is that Dunn is a left handed hitter. Adding him to Josh Thole, Ike David, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda (if he gets the right field job) would leave the Mets too lefty heavy.
Having said all of this, I have not seen Dunn this season. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. I don’t know if this is a mechanical thing, a change-of-league thing, or maybe he’s just done.
Despite the drawbacks, I would make this trade. The Mets need power and if Dunn can figure things out he would be the power threat the team has been missing for several seasons. We know what we will get from Bay, and it is not good. He seems to have lost all of his power and it’s unlikely to come back. Time to try someone new.