It’s only been a few weeks since the Mets and Jason Bay got together and said, “hey, how about you do your thing and I’ll go do mine,” but the fallen star has found a new taker in the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners are always looking for someone who might be able to do anything at all on offense, and they’re hoping Bay is at least a partial answer to their prayers. Bay is 34 years old now and has little in the way of knees; he’ll need to pass a physical for this thing to go through. As for the terms of the deal, they haven’t been released. It’s almost certainly a one-year thing with some incentives involved.
This signing is a difficult one to analyze, because there isn’t a way to know exactly what the Mariners are getting. Bay was bad in 2010, worse in 2011, and comically inept in 2012. Still, and maybe this is just me, there might be something left in the tank for a guy who was once a pretty formidable slugger from his call-up in 2003 all the way to 2009. More likely is that Bay is done for good and won’t ever regain anything close to the luster he once had, but I can understand Seattle wanting to take a shot in the dark.
While we don’t know what to anticipate from Bay at the plate, and we know a lot of it will depend on health and finding out how much that has to do with his poor hitting of late, we know for a fact he can’t adequately field a position. Even before injuries became a big problem for Bay, he was rigid and often downright awful with the glove. UZR is a bit confusing when it comes to Bay, as there have been a few season in which he has been rated as average-ish or even a little better, but for the most part the advanced metrics and scouting reports hate this guy.
Given the direction the Mariners are taking, I’m not sure where Bay ends up playing, and that’s yet another problem Seattle will have to face with their new player. Taking a risk for the chance to get a 2/3 scale sized version of Jason Bay at the plate is understandable, but maybe less so when there isn’t anywhere to hide him without sticking him at DH. I have to assume Jesus Montero is going to be getting plenty of at-bats in the DH slot to develop as a hitter, and I just don’t think Bay can handle a corner outfield spot at this point.