Is This The End Of The Line For Jason Bay?
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Jason Bay begins 2013 with the Seattle Mariners on perhaps his last chance at the Major Leagues for his career. It was only on 2009 where he finished an ALL-Star Season with the Boston Red Sox – taking home a Silver Slugger Award and finishing in 7th for AL MVP Voting. That year, he hit for a 3 Slash Line of – .267/.384/.923, with 36 HRs (3rd in AL) and 119 RBI (2nd in AL). The man also walked 94 times and scored 103 Runs. It was a Career Year, yet he also had 3 other 30+ HRs, 100+ RBI and 100+ Run Years in 2005, 2006 and 2008. Bay picked a perfect year to be a Free Agent after his last year with the Red Sox.. While he cashed in on a 4 YR/64 Million Dollar Contract from the New York Mets, the Boston Red Sox knew of some hampering injuries that were sure to plague the Canadian ALL-Star from Trail. B.C. for the length of the deal… Boy did they turn out to be right on this prognostication!
What happened in New York City could not be classified by anything but horrendous. It was a move to an un-hitter friendly park at Citi Field. Bay then spent parts of 3 years injured or absolutely putting up abysmal numbers for the NL East Franchise. Of course 2012 would be the ultimate worst as the Right Fielder hit a paltry .165 with 8 HRs and 20 RBI in 194 AB. He had become a shadow of his former ALL-Star self and the Mets had enough of the anemic offense. They ate all of the remaining 21 Million Dollars left on his contract for 2013 and granted Bay his walking papers.
Jason Bay Highlights 2011 – Mature Lyrics Content – Parental Guidance is advised
Seattle came calling to Jason Bay by the tune of a 1 YR/ 1 Million Dollar Contract. So now he will try to resurrect his career with the Major League Franchise closest to his home of Trail B.C (is 412 Miles from Safeco Field.) In my opinion, it is not a bad signing for the Mariners. The club has a depth chart of Franklin Gutierrez (CF), fellow Canadian (OF) Michael Saunders, Eric Thames (OF), Casper Wells (CF/LF), plus a collection of Mike Carp (1B/DH/LF) Raul Ibanez and even Robert Andino can play CF in a pinch. They also have Carlos Peguero in the Minors, however he has only hit .191 in limited At-Bats for the big club, so expect for him to stay down in AA or AAA.
Gutierrez has missed almost 200 games in the last few years, so the Mariners definitely can’t bank on him, however he is a former Gold Glove Award Winner (2010) if healthy. Michael Saunders almost had a 20/20 year last year, with 19 HRs and 21 SB in 507 AB. Look for him to be reel in one of the starting positions. At this point in his career, Ibanez is better suited to be a DH/LF versus Right Handed Pitching only. Despite driving in over 1000 RBI in the last 11 years, the 3 time Mariner is now 40 Years Old and will turn 41 on June.2/2013. He still had a 3 Slash Line of – .248/.319/.812, with 19 HRs and 57 RBI in 312 AB during the 2012 Year for the New York Yankees. The Mariners would gladly take those numbers from either their DH or LF considering their production of recent years.
Casper Wells had decent power numbers with the Mariners last year, with 10 HRs and 36 RBI in 285, however he carried a .228 Batting Average that will not cut it. Mike Carp or Justin Smoak might be traded by the club before the season starts, so I wont even go over Carp’s less than stellar numbers, however I will tell you that either one of these guys was made expendable when the M’s traded for Kendrys Morales. With Jesus Montero also splitting Catching and Designated Hitting time with John Jaso, it seems that there will be limited At-Bats to go around.
Eric Thames may be the key to whether or not Jason Bay sees any real time in 2013. The former Blue Jay had displayed some decent power in his early career – smacking 21 HRs in just 633 Career At-Bats, however he is not very patient at the dish, carrying a .296 OBP through his 4 years of limited action.
Technically the Depth Chart will have Gutierrez in CF, Saunders in RF and Ibanez in LF as the Opening Day Projection. Again, you can’t count on Gutierrez to be healthy, plus Ibanez does not fare well against LHP, so Eric Thames should see some nice AB as the teams 4th OF. That would leave both Casper Wells and Jason Bay to duke it out for the 5th OF spot on the Roster. I would give Bay a chance to pick up some AB. At least the guy can walk, something the Mariners routinely finish last in the American League at.
For a 1 Million Dollar risk, Bay is worth the gamble. None of the Outfielders are of ALL-Star caliber – and many of them possess flaws in their hitting. Bay picked the right set of circumstances to be in. Whenever he has his chance to play, he must produce early in order to keep regular playing time. Bay is 34 Years old, so his leadership will certainly help in the clubhouse. He also provides nice depth in case of injury. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik may even end up trading Wells or Thames if the former Rookie Of the Year can regain some of his form.
People from his hometown of Trail may want to attend any game that Bay may play in during 2013, as it may be his last year in the Major Leagues!
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Chuck Booth- Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames: To learn more about my “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here . You can also follow my Guinness Book of World Record Successful Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 Days- click here. I am happy to be part of such an awesome Magazine-Style Baseball Website and am looking forward to talking to all of the fans of the MLB. You can reach me on Twitter here Follow @mlbreports
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Posted on January 15, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @chuckbooth3024 on twitter, AL MVP voting, AL West, American league, boston red sox, carlos peguero, casper wells, Chuck Booth. fastest 30 ballgames, eric thames, franklin gutierrez, Jack Zduriencik, jesus montero, john jaso, justin morneau, justin smoak, kendrys morales, Larry Walker, matt stairs, mike carp, national league, new york mets, new york yankees, NL Rookie Of The Year Winners, pittsburgh pirates, raul ibanez, robert andino, seattle mariners, silver slugger award winner, toronto blue jays. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.