The New York Mets announced today that they have agreed to part ways with Jason Bay, allowing him to become a free agent despite having a year left on his deal. And you can be certain the Rays will be interested in signing Bay if the price is right.

Bay would fit nicely in the Rays lineup and is exactly the type of veteran hitter the Rays love. He could DH for the Rays and is a decent glove that could see time in the outfield. He is also coming off several bad years with the Mets and will likely be dirt cheap.

During his three seasons in New York, Bay hit just .234 with a total of just 26 home runs. And this past season he hit just .165 with a .237 OBP (.240 wOBA). However Bay will be just 34 in 2013 will be looking to rejuvenate his career. In the six seasons prior to signing with the Mets, Bay hit .280 with a .377 OBP and averaged 30 home runs per season.

We also know that the Rays have shown interest in Bay in the past, nearly trading Jeff Niemann and Reid Brignac for the outfielder at the trade deadline in 2008. That deal fell through. But don’t be surprised if the Bay is finally wearing the blue and white, five years later.

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10 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    I have trouble thinking about Bay as a Ray ever since July 2008, when he was rumored to be hours away from becoming a Ray.

    But given his poor numbers with the Mets, why would we want him? If he had one poor year perhaps it's worthwhile seeing whether that was an aberration, but three bad years seems to me to be a clear trend.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      Well, if he had just one bad year and 10 other years hitting 30 HRs every year, the Rays wouldn't be able to afford him. Are there risks? Of course. But the Rays are not in the market for players that are risk-free. That being said, there are reasons to be optimistic he can rebound: 1) he's still young; 2) The Mets put a good hitter with some decent power in a gigantic ballpark where only Mark McGwire could hit HRs and asked Bay to hit HRs and it just didnt work. Bay tried to be somebody he wasn't. I even remember when the Mets signed Bay, the Mets touted how Bay hit a lot of HRs right down the LF line and why that made him perfect for CitiField. So now, not only are you asking a good hitter with some power to be a slugger, they were asking him to hit all of his HRs to a specific spot. And once he wasnt hitting HRs, there was probably added pressure to perform and he didn't. There were also several injuries. He only played 100 games in one of three season and in the other he played less than 130. Of course, maybe the injuries are still lingering and that's another risk. And maybe that's why he will never be the same. But I think he is definitely worth a flyer if he'll come cheap, and I suspect he will. I also think , unless he wants to go back to Pittsburgh, that the Rays would be the kind of low-pressure place he might need after being destroyed by the NY fans and media the last three years.

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    • David says:

      He is exactly what the Rays try to go after because the MONEY is right. If he works out, great. If not, no big loss.
      They cannot afford to throw too much at one guy FANS THINK will be a sure bet because if that so-called sure bet fails..... the season is over (see Red Sox with all their big contracts that busted).
      They have to get guys with "potential" for cheap and agin guys who come cheap but might have something left.

      That is the reality and it seems that many fans have to be reminded of this every single off-season.

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  2. Greg says:

    Maybe on a minor league invite, but I can't believe anyone would give him a major league contract. He's been beyond bad. The Mets gave him all $21M owed to him (albeit deferred) just to go away. Think about that.

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  3. Geoff Peterson says:

    Just what we need, another OF that hits .230

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  4. Don says:

    You just had bring up 2008,when the Rays could have won the WS if they had at least one experienced,veteran player, along with all the kids that were shelled shocked just to be there, because they wouldn't throw in Reid Brignac, that away Friedman at least you stayed true to form...
    Now really show your style and sign Bay for $1mil... you give anyone & everyone a easy $1mil

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  5. Dave L says:

    Its kind of sad and pathetic but its true while other teams dream about and court plum free agents we instead hope to breathe life into a recent prune of a career like Jason Bay's.

    Would we have to guarantee him anything you think to get him into spring training? If its much of those tight Rays dollars I would vote no.

    But I do remember a Jason Bay killing us a couple of times with pops into the left field stands back when he played in our division. I wouldn't mind having that guy but I dont know if he still exists.

    if he would cost more than an invite I would pass.

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  6. TOM says:

    All I can say they better concentrate on signing Kepp.

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