Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Jason Bay led the Red Sox with 119 RBI in '09. He only hit .267, but had an impressive .384 OBP, along with a .537 SLG. Only Kevin Youkilis had a higher OPS on the team. His 36 homers were the most on the Sox.
He hit .392 against the Yankees.
I honestly don't know why the Sox haven't locked this guy up. He's been a 100 RBI guy in 4 of the last 5 seasons. He's an OBP kind of guy, works counts, makes pitchers work, and he knocks in runs. He doesn't have Manny Ramirez's kind of power, but he's not looking for Manny Ramirez money. He's 31 years old, and hasn't missed significant games since '04. He's an ideal #5 hitter.
He's worth 5 years at $75 million, and perhaps a little more. JD Drew makes about that much, and Bay doesn't have the same injury history as Drew did when the Sox acquired him.
Plus there's no alternative out there. Bobby Abreu was snatched up by the Angels. Then there's Matt Holliday...
Holliday's been a great NL player, struggled a bit in his short-time in the AL, but he does have great numbers. In fact, they're slightly better numbers than Jason Bay's. But not much better. And how much more money will those BA, OBP, and OPS points cost?
Holliday is pretty much the only replacement available. But we know what Jason Bay will do in Boston and in the AL East. We don't know what Holliday will give us. I just don't think that slim upgrade is worth the risk, or the additional cost.
The Red Sox made some blatantly telegraphed maneuvering Monday afternoon. They picked up Victor Martinez's option, worth $7 million. Martinez hit .303, splitting his season between Cleveland and Boston. He had 108 RBI and 23 HR. $7 million is a bargain basement price for a guy like him.
The Sox also signed Tim Wakefield to a 2 year, $5 million deal. Wakefield will get $3.5M next season, and $1.5 in 2011. There are also incentives. The Sox did have a perpetual $4 million option on him, but this might be a cheaper way to go. Frankly, I don't think Wakefield can be a starter anymore, not for a full season. He had back problems last year, and I'd like to see him shutdown until mid-summer of 2010, or converted into a mid-reliever.
The Sox also declined the $5 million club option on Jason Varitek. However, Varitek has a $3 million option of his own. It's anticipated that he'll exercise that option, and will unfortunately be a part of the team in 2010.