Boston Red Sox: Jason Bay

Should Red Sox be interested in Bay?

November, 14, 2012
11/14/12
9:32
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ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney tweeted on Tuesday that the Red Sox are kicking the tires on outfielder Jason Bay, who was bought out by the Mets:



Bay spent a season and a half in Boston, coming as part of the deal that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers at the 2008 trade deadline. While with the Red Sox, Bay had 9 homers and 37 RBIs in 49 games in 2008 and followed that with a stellar 2009 season: a .267 average, 36 homers, 119 RBIs and a .921 OPS.

SportsNation

Would you like to see the Red Sox roll the dice and sign Jason Bay?

  •  
    47%
  •  
    53%

Discuss (Total votes: 14,204)

Bay signed a four-year, $66 million contract with the Mets in January 2010, but Bay's time as a Met was marred by injuries and a mystifying inability to hit for power after four seasons of having hit at least 30 home runs for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Red Sox.

In his three years as a Met, Bay hit a total of 26 home runs and drove in 124 runs. A career .269 hitter, he batted just .234 as a Met.

Bay suffered a concussion running into the wall in his first season with the team and appeared in only 95 games. He also suffered a rib injury that limited him to 123 games in 2011, and a broken rib that kept him out of all but 70 games in 2012.

Clearly, Bay is not the player he was with the Red Sox. Nevertheless, the Sox have a couple of holes in the outfield and could be inclined to take a flier on someone like Bay.

Should Red Sox take a chance on Bay?

November, 7, 2012
11/07/12
3:55
PM ET
The Mets on Wednesday announced they bought out the final two years of Jason Bay's contract, making the 34-year-old outfielder a free agent after a dreadful stint with New York.

SportsNation

Would you like to see the Red Sox roll the dice and sign Jason Bay?

  •  
    47%
  •  
    53%

Discuss (Total votes: 14,204)

Bay spent a season and a half in Boston, coming as part of the deal that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers at the 2008 trade deadline. While with the Red Sox, Bay had 9 homers and 37 RBIs in 49 games in 2008 and followed that with a stellar 2009 season: a .267 average, 36 homers, 119 RBIs and a .921 OPS.

Bay signed a four-year, $66 million contract with the Mets in January 2010, but Bay's time as a Met was marred by injuries and a mystifying inability to hit for power after four seasons of having hit at least 30 home runs for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Red Sox.

In his three years as a Met, Bay hit a total of 26 home runs and drove in 124 runs. A career .269 hitter, he batted just .234 as a Met.

Bay suffered a concussion running into the wall in his first season with the team and appeared in only 95 games. He also suffered a rib injury that limited him to 123 games in 2011, and a broken rib that kept him out of all but 70 games in 2012.

Clearly, Bay is not the player he was with the Red Sox. Nevertheless, the Sox have a couple of holes in the outfield and could be inclined to take a flier on someone like Bay.

"I still feel I have plenty to give to this game and that I can play baseball at a high level. But after serious consideration, both sides agree that we would benefit from a fresh start," Bay said in a team-issued statement. "I'm grateful we were able to reach an agreement to allow that to happen."

If you were GM Ben Cherington, would you take a chance on Bay if all it meant was a one-year deal for maybe $5 million? Vote in the poll above and share your thoughts in the comments section.

Here is Gordon Edes' take on it:

Quick hits: Red Sox 8, Mets 2

March, 11, 2010
3/11/10
6:19
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The outcome: As Red Sox manager Terry Francona said, “It wasn’t just a long bus ride and a sandwich.”

Boston’s game against the New York Mets at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie on Thursday had a rain delay, but the teams were able to resume with the Red Sox finishing with an 8-2 victory. A lot of the Red Sox regulars made the three-hour trip to the east coast, including Dustin Pedroia, Marco Scutaro, Victor Martinez, David Ortiz and Mike Cameron.

Once the game resumed, all the veteran starters, with the exception of Ortiz, were out of the lineup. After Boston scored three runs in the top of the first inning, Red Sox bench players provided the rest of the offense, scoring five runs in innings six, seven and eight. Minor league veteran Gil Velazquez continues to impress this spring as he drove in two runs against the Mets and has a total of seven RBIs in Grapefruit League games.

The notable: Red Sox pitcher John Lackey made his second start of spring training, working three scoreless innings. He allowed only three hits on 30 pitches (17 strikes). After his outing, Lackey tossed 12 more pitches in the bullpen.

“His fastball was down with good movement,” said Francona. “I didn’t get to see his last outing, but I heard it was about the same. He was efficient and did a really good job. It was a relief his outing [didn’t get rained out] because you could see the weather coming. He didn’t get interrupted, he got his work in.”

Lackey has dealt with injuries the last two springs while with the Angels, but he’s healthy this season and right on schedule.

“I’m on time,” he said. “I’m not getting ahead of myself. My two-seamer was pretty good today. I got a lot of ground balls, but some of my other pitches are not there yet. I’ve got some work to do, for sure.”

Lackey was able to work with new batterymate Victor Martinez for the first time this spring, and said his working relationship with Martinez went very well.

“He was great, it was a lot of fun,” said Martinez. “I was talking to him, he really looked effortless. He wasn’t trying to overthrow or push his pitches. And he really has that two-seamer working pretty good today. He mixed his pitches and worked on what he needed to work on. I think it went great for him.”

Prospect watch: Red Sox pitcher Junichi Tazawa worked the eighth and ninth innings and held the Mets hitless. The right-hander recorded two strikeouts with one walk. Francona was impressed with Tazawa’s curveball and fastball.

The 23-year-old made his major league debut with the Red Sox in 2009 and in six games (four starts) he posted a 2-3 record in his first season of pro ball. Francona is already seeing a difference this year.

“He’s stronger and I’m sure his confidence level is [higher] because everything he did last year was a first,” Francona said. “It was a lot to ask and he did a great job. Now he’s out there competing on a level playing field like everyone else.”

Progress report: Francona said he was thinking about putting Jason Varitek in the lineup against the Cardinals on Friday, but the weather report is bad and the manager doesn’t think it's a good idea. Francona told both Varitek and third baseman Adrian Beltre to stay in Fort Myers. Varitek has missed several days of camp to tend to his ailing father.

Up next: The Sox remain on the east coast of Florida and will face the Cardinals on Friday at Jupiter. Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard and Boof Bonser are scheduled to pitch. Francona was given a forecast for Friday and it doesn’t look good at this point. The manager thinks there’s a strong possibility the game could be rained out.

Boston returns to City of Palms as the Sox host the Pirates on Saturday. Michael Bowden, Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez, Brian Shouse, Manny Delcarmen and Ramon Ramirez are all scheduled to pitch for the Sox.

Etc.: Right-handed pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka will throw live batting practice at the minor league complex on Saturday. ... It’s not etched in stone, but there’s a very good chance Mike Lowell will be able to play against the Twins on Monday. “We’ll see how he gets through the rest of the week,” said Francona. ... A day after Nomar Garciaparra officially retired from baseball as a member of the Red Sox, people are still talking about his career. Garciaparra made his Triple-A debut for the Pawtucket Red Sox as a 22-year-old in 1996. He hit .343 with 16 homers and 46 RBIs in 43 games for the PawSox that season. When former PawSox manager Buddy Bailey learned of Garciaparra’s retirement, Bailey was impressed by the way it was handled. “Good for him, the Red Sox organization and especially for the Red Sox fans,” said Bailey. “He was good for the fans, and Boston was good to him. Class move by the Red Sox and Nomar.”

Jason Bay: I've moved on

March, 11, 2010
3/11/10
4:35
PM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Jason Bay is done talking about his offseason free-agent status. He doesn’t want to discuss his four-year $66-million deal he signed with the New York Mets. He doesn’t want to talk about the fallout he had with the Red Sox and the supposed health issues Boston was concerned about.

“First and foremost, I’ve got to tell you if you guys came to get any offseason quotes, I’m done talking about that,” Bay told a small group of Red Sox beat writers Thursday morning at Tradition Field. “Health-related, or anything like that, I’m taking the fifth. I’m trying to move on. I said my peace and I’ve moved on. It’s done. Nothing is going to change.”

To read more about Jason Bay's reunion with the Red Sox, click HERE.

Morning notes: Sox happy to see Bay

March, 11, 2010
3/11/10
12:33
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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It’s unusual for a bunch of veteran players to want to take the three-hour trek across Florida to play in a spring training game, but when the Grapefruit League schedule was announced, a number of Red Sox players knew they would want to make the trip here just to see former teammate Jason Bay.

Bay, the former Red Sox left fielder who signed a four-year, $66 million deal with the New York Mets during the offseason, received hugs from Red Sox players when the club arrived at Tradition Field.

“He’s a very popular teammate,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “Just because he changed uniforms, it takes away nothing from what he did. The day he walked into our clubhouse, he was solid. He’s a good guy. The business side of the game doesn’t change how you feel about people. I know the business side isn’t always fun. There are difficult decisions, but that doesn’t change how you feel about people.”

Here are some other brief notes from this morning’s scrum with Francona:

* The weather here today could be bad with rain expected right around first pitch at 1:05 p.m. Francona hopes starter John Lackey will at least be able to work his scheduled three innings.

* Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is working his way back after a mild back strain delayed his spring, will throw live batting practice on Saturday at the minor league complex.

* Francona was thinking he might put Jason Varitek in lineup against the Cardinals on Friday at Jupiter, Fla., but the weather report is bad and the manager doesn’t think it would be a good idea. Francona told both Varitek and third baseman Adrian Beltre to stay in Fort Myers. Varitek has missed several days of camp due to his ailing father.

* It’s not etched in stone, but there’s a very good chance Mike Lowell will be able to play against the Twins on Monday. “We’ll see how he gets through the rest of the week,” Francona said.

Bay won't talk about the past

March, 11, 2010
3/11/10
10:29
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Jason Bay is done talking about his offseason free-agent status. He doesn’t want to discuss his four-year $66 million deal he signed with the New York Mets. He doesn’t want to talk about the fallout he had with the Red Sox and the supposed health issues Boston was concerned about.

Before his Mets took on the Red Sox in a Grapefruit League contest, Bay met with a small group of Red Sox beat writers at Tradition Field and stated his case.

“Health related, or anything like that, I’m taking the fifth [amendment],” he said. “I’m trying to move on. I said my piece and I’ve moved on. It’s done. Nothing is going to change.”

Bay is in today’s lineup against the Red Sox and is looking forward to seeing his former teammates.

He did talk about the Red Sox in the post-J-Bay era, saying all the talk about Boston’s lack of offense is nonsense.

“I think it’s ludicrous that everybody keeps talking about their offense,” Bay said. “I don’t really understand it. You lose one guy and you add [Marco] Scutaro, [Adrian] Beltre and [Mike] Cameron, I guess it’s just offseason fodder.

“You’re doing you’re calculations and all of that, but I mean it’s actually kind of baffling, almost funny to me that those guys over there have to keep answering offensive questions, because I think they’re going to be fine.

“You look at the guys they have, are you going to score 15 runs a game? Who is? But how much offense are you looking for. I think it’s laughable that’s even an issue because I think they will be more than fine.”

When Bay signed with the Mets and the Red Sox signed Cameron to play center field, Boston’s management decided to move Jacoby Ellsbury to left field. Bay believes it’ll be a good move.

“I think he’ll do great. If anything, he might not know it, it’ll probably help him a little bit,” Bay said. “It’ll save his legs because he won’t be covering as much ground definitely at home, and even on the road you’re not covering as much room as you normally would, and for a guy like him it’ll keep him a little bit fresher here and there.

“In a perfect world he’s definitely a center fielder, but I don’t think this is going to hurt him at all.”

Bay gives his side of the story

January, 22, 2010
1/22/10
12:13
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There were hints all along that there was a lot more to how Jason Bay ended up not re-signing with the Boston Red Sox than what was on the surface, and on Friday we learned a lot more about how the months-long negotiations between the Red Sox and Bay broke down.

Bay gave his side of the story to reporter Rob Bradford, who relayed a timeline of events from the player's perspective on WEEI.com. In a nutshell, Bay says he had agreed to a deal to stay with the Red Sox in the middle of last season, but it broke down over medical concerns after he took a physical. The Red Sox tweaked their proposal and Bay got second and third opinions that he claims did not show the same medical concerns. In the end, Bay chose to take a guaranteed deal with the New York Mets over Boston's deal, which included medical contingencies.

Here's a bullet-point timeline of how it went down, as Bay described it to Bradford.

  • Bay agreed to a four-year, $60 million deal with a $17 million team option for a fifth season to remain with the Red Sox back in July.
  • That offer was pulled off the table after the Red Sox had concerns about Bay's knees and shoulder, which were revealed in a physical.
  • The Red Sox, according to Bay, replaced that offer with a two-year deal (for $15 million per season) that included options for third and fourth years that were contingent on Bay's health and productivity. In addition, Bay told WEEI.com, the offer also required Bay to undergo knee surgery after the 2009 season.
  • "I was shocked, to say the least, that I was being told to have knee surgery in order to get the contract," Bay told WEEI.com, "particularly since I wasn't hurt."

  • Bay got a second opinion on his knees and shoulder and, according to the player, the doctors said there was no cause for concern.
  • When negotiations between Bay and the Red Sox started up again in late October, Boston's revised offer still included medical contingencies in the third and fourth years of the contract, but Bay would no longer be required to have knee surgery.
  • When Bay told the Red Sox that the doctor he sought out for a second opinion did not agree with the Red Sox's initial diagnosis, the team suggested they seek a third opinion from an agreed-upon doctor. According to Bay, that doctor also did not see reason for concern about Bay's knees or shoulder.
  • At the winter meetings in Indianapolis in early December, the Red Sox presented Bay's agent, Joe Urbon, with yet another revised contract, this one with three years guaranteed and a fourth-year option that included the medical stipulations that were in the previous proposal.
  • On Dec. 12, the Red Sox called Urbon for an answer on the proposal. Urbon declined the offer.
  • The next day, the Red Sox reached a five-year, $82.5 million contract with pitcher John Lackey.

Gammons: Sox nixed deal with Bay in July

January, 18, 2010
1/18/10
9:57
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According to Peter Gammons, Jason Bay and the Red Sox had agreed to terms for a four-year, $60 million contract last July but the team altered the offer after an MRI raised concerns about both of Bay's knees.

Gammons, appearing on NESN on Monday, referenced Bay and the Red Sox when talking about the distrust that can exist between a player and his team's medical staff. The issue has been raised in relation to a dispute between Carlos Beltran and the Mets over the outfielder's decision to have surgery without the team's blessing.

"You had the same thing here with Jason Bay, when he agreed to the four-year, $60 million deal near the end of July and then the MRI showed some problems with both knees," Gammons said. "Ownership wanted it to be two years and he had to prove that he was healthy to be able to make it four years, and he wouldn't sign."

Bay became a free agent this offseason. After talks with the Red Sox broke off, he signed with the Mets, agreeing to a four-year, $66 million deal with a vesting option that would bring the total value to $80 million.

Francona discusses Ortiz, Bay, and others

January, 16, 2010
1/16/10
1:03
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ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes talked with Red Sox manager Terry Francona about his team and the upcoming season on Thursday. Here are a few of Francona's comments.

On past teams' strong offense: "Our teams have been different. When I first got here, our offense at times was pretty prolific ... we sometimes outhit some of our mistakes ... I don't know how comfortable we were with that."

On pitching and defense: "If you send a guy out there who can pitch and you can catch it, you'll always have a chance to win."

On David Ortiz: "David's a big -- I don't want to say question mark, but when he hits we're a different team. When you have a guy who is a full-time DH, he has to hit.''

On Tim Wakefield: "The days of Wake logging all those innings may be past. But you can guarantee Wake is going to pitch and win his games. We've just got to figure out what's best for him and us.''

Former Boston Red Sox left fielder Jason Bay said Monday that the New York Mets were the first team his agent talked to and were always on the short list of teams he considered signing with.

Jason Bay

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Jason Bay passed his physical Monday and was introduced by the Mets on Tuesday.

Bay was all smiles at his introductory press conference at the Mets' CitiField, except when asked about Peter Gammons' comment last month that Bay would prefer to play in Beirut than Queens. Not true, said Bay, who also refuted assertions that his shoulder was an issue, saying he'd had surgery in 2003 and it's been great ever since.

Bay called the Mets "a perfect fit," citing a chance to win as the primary factor in his decision. He didn't elaborate how going from a 95-win Red Sox team in 2009 to the Mets, a 92-game loser, enhanced his chances to win, other than to say that the Mets were a much better team than the injury-riddled bunch in 2009.

"I wouldn't've signed the contract if I didn't want to be here or I wasn't happy. This is one of the biggest days of my life," Bay said. "You look at the players on this team; it's a very good team."

Bay also addressed questions about playing in CitiField's spacious left field, saying: "I'm no Torii Hunter, but I think I'm a pretty good fielder.''

Bay and the Mets had reached a tentative deal around Christmas and the wait until it was finalized led to clamoring by fans and talk radio that he didn't really want to come to New York and that there were issues with his shoulder.

But Mets general manager Omar Minaya said Bay was always the team's priority and the contract took a little longer to finalize because of travel around the holidays.

"When we started this winter, we felt that one of these areas that we needed to improve on we felt that we had to slug more, to be able to have a power hitter, to be able to have a guy that would fit into the middle of our lineup," Minaya said. "We said to the fans be patient but we will eventually get to achieving our goals. I think today, having Jason up here, we achieved one of our goals this winter."

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Youkilis: Losing Bay 'going to be tough' for Sox

December, 30, 2009
12/30/09
8:56
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Boston Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis told reporters on Tuesday night that losing left fielder Jason Bay was "definitely going to be tough for all of us'' but thought there was "still a lot of thunder" in the Red Sox lineup.

Speaking to reporters at the Lowell Spinners alumni dinner hours after news broke that Bay would join the Mets, Youkilis lamented seeing "a close friend" move to another team.

"But it's a business, things happen," Youkilis said, according to reports. "It's one of those business moves on each side. It just didn't work out right. I wish him the best in New York. Hopefully we get to see him in the World Series.''

Even after signing pitcher John Lackey to a big contract and bringing in outfielder Mike Cameron, the Red Sox had been rumored to still have been in contact with Bay. Nevertheless, Youkilis was not optimistic that Bay would return.

"I knew what was going on just by talking to [Bay]," Youkilis said. "You're never surprised in this game."

Despite losing Bay's bat, Youkilis said he was confident in the Red Sox lineup and emphasized the improvement of the pitching staff.

"I think we've got a great team,'' Youkilis said, according to reports. "I think we have a good offense, but picking up John Lackey was huge, where you don't allow as many runs so the offense doesn't have to be as great when you have great pitching. Great pitching always wins championships. For us, hopefully we've got six starting pitchers again, so if all can stay healthy, who knows what's going to happen?

"It just depends on how all the [offensive] guys adapt to it, but I think there's still a lot of thunder there.''

Source: Bay deal could be worth $80m

December, 29, 2009
12/29/09
4:38
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Free-agent outfielder Jason Bay has reached agreement on a four-year, guaranteed $66 million contract with the New York Mets, a baseball source confirmed to ESPN.com Tuesday.



The agreement will become official once Bay passes a physical exam sometime next week, the source said. The deal includes a vesting option year that could increase Bay's overall payout to slightly more than $80 million over five years.

Bay, a three-time All-Star, hit .267 with 36 home runs and 119 RBIs for the Boston Red Sox in 2009.


Last week there was talk about Bay possibly revisiting his relationship with the Red Sox, but that move was considered a long shot by many insiders. The proposal would have reportedly been in the range of the four-year, $60 million offer originally made to Bay by the team.


Stay tuned for more information on the Bay-Mets deal from ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes.

Bay still a long shot to come back

December, 24, 2009
12/24/09
12:52
AM ET

Jason Bay coming back to the Red Sox after all? Don't bet on it.

A team source said Wednesday night that while the club never says never, Bay's return to Boston would be a real long shot since the Red Sox already have a left fielder, namely Mike Cameron, who signed a two-year deal with the Sox earlier this month. (Of course, Cameron could end up in center with Jacoby Ellsbury shifting to left).

With Bay continuing to twist in the free-agent wind, talk of him possibly revisiting his relationship with the Red Sox has surfaced. Rob Bradford blogged on WEEI.com on Wednesday evening that the Sox "have had internal discussions about extending their organizational budget to potentially allow for another offer" to Bay. The proposal would be in the range of the four-year, $60 million offer originally made to Bay by the team, the blog entry said.

That organizational budget was stretched by the five-year, $82 million deal struck with free-agent pitcher John Lackey.

Epstein: Bay 'did outstanding job for us'

December, 16, 2009
12/16/09
4:36
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At a news conference to introduce outfielder Mike Cameron on Wednesday, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein wouldn't officially close the door on Jason Bay's stay in Boston, but made it sound like Bay's return is unlikely.

"[The media] has done a great job of speculating, putting the pieces together this winter, so I'll let you continue to speculate. I don't want to say that the door is officially closed on one player out there that's a free agent. But Jason, obviously, in a year and a half here, did an outstanding job for us," Epstein said.

"That's a trade we would make again any day of the week. Whichever team does sign him, they're getting a quality person and a quality player."

Source: Mets are in on Bay

December, 10, 2009
12/10/09
3:07
PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- The New York Mets have emerged as another bidder on free-agent left-fielder Jason Bay, according to a source with direct knowledge of the Bay negotiations.

The Mets had been focused on pitching, but with the Los Angeles Angels indicating they had "more pressing needs" than pursuing a left fielder, GM Omar Minaya has moved aggressively toward adding Bay.

So far, the only known offer made to Bay was the four-year, $60 million proposal he turned down from the Red Sox in midseason. Boston would like to re-sign Bay, but are also weighing Matt Holliday as an alternative.

The Red Sox may also need a third baseman if the reported Mike Lowell deal goes through, but one industry source cautioned that the process is ongoing and is not a "slam dunk". The expectation is that it will ultimately get done, and the Red Sox are talking with agent Scott Boras about free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre.

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