After months of stalling, the Mets finally filled one of their many lacking positions and signed a guy who they hope will be a huge force in the middle of the lineup as they inked former Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay to a four-year deal.
The contract guarantees Bay $65-66 million over the course of four years and has an option for a fifth year that kicks in if Bay stays healthy and meets the milestones for plate appearances over the course of his deal.
The deal makes the 31-year-old one of the highest paid outfielders in the league, along with his new teammate Carlos Beltran.
Bay, who had a stint in the Mets’ farm system in his early days, has hit over 30 home runs if four of his last five years including a 36 home run, 119 RBI season last year when Bay had to fill Manny Ramirez’s spot in the outfield and lineup for the Sox.
Overall, Bay is a guy who has consistently hit for power and around a .280 batting average his entire career and the Mets hope that they can rely on him to produce runs in 2010 after the team hit less than 100 home runs in 2009 (no one had more than 12 home runs).
While the Mets have finally pulled off a big move, their offseason is far from over. Very high on the Mets to-do list is the acquisition of a starting pitcher and catcher.
The Mets are believed to be the only team interested in signing Bengie Molina (who hit 20 home runs and drove in 80 RBIs in 2009) but Molina has been pushing for the team to offer him a third year, something that isn’t very likely to happen.
With most “good” pitchers off the market, the Mets have turned their attention to back-end starters Doug Davis and Jon Garland who the Mets should be able to get pretty cheap.