As a Mets and Red Sox fan, today is an interesting day for me to say the least. Jason Bay, it’s being reported, has accepted an offer to join the Mets. Pending passing a physical, Bay will be playing in Queens next year.
I know the Mets track record in free agency isn’t the greatest. And that’s an understatement.
After all, I remember being a child and so excited that George Foster was leaving the Big Red Machine to join the Mets that I could barely sleep. This was followed by many sleepless nights learning the true meaning of disappointment when Foster failed to play big (or red for that matter) for the Metropolitans.
Despite all of that, this signing will turn out fine. The two biggest hitters of the off season this year are Bay and Matt Holliday. There’s been a lot of debate over who’s a better choice.
Here’s what it boils down to. Bay has played mostly in Pittsburgh and Boston. He’s played well in both places. He’s played well in both leagues.
Holliday has played in Colorado (mostly), which makes his hitting stats highly suspicious to begin with. He’s played in Oakland, where his stats dropped way off his Colorado standards.
And then, he really put his career back together in half a season with the Cardinals, a lineup that featured Albert Pujols only the best hitter in the game.
So, to review… Bay has played well everywhere he’s played.
Holliday did really well in Colorado and didn’t hit anywhere near as well in the American League until being rescued by Albert Pujols. Plus, he made a key error in this year’s playoffs despite being a supposedly much better fielder than Bay.
All in all, I think the Mets made the right choice. And unless he has a David Wright-like power fade from playing in Citi Field next year, I think the Mets 2010 season just got a lot brighter. Now they need to address their lack of pitching.
As for the Red Sox, I think they long ago started to prepare for life after Bay and so I’m not too worried about.
PS – I completely reserve the right to flip on the whole Bay/Holliday issue when the Red Sox sign Holliday in the next few weeks.