Results tagged ‘ Jason Bay ’

Red Sox in contact with Bay

The Red Sox are in the market for at least one starting outfielder, if not two, and a familiar name is out there. Jason Bay was a popular run producer during the year-and-a-half he played in Boston, but then went to the Mets, where he has had three horrific, injury-plagued seasons. Some thought that Bay was a bad fit for the Mets right from the outset. Could coming back to Boston resurrect his career?

It is at least a possibility. ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted the following: “The Red Sox are among the teams in contact with Jason Bay, as he considers his options for 2013. Looking for opportunity, familiarity.”

Fenway’s friendly dimensions in left field are a far better fit for Bay’s swing than CitiField ever was.

The Red Sox’s interest in Bay could depend on how things go with Cody Ross, who was a positive presence on the field and in the clubhosue for Boston in 2012. Ross is a free agent and said to be seeking a three-year deal. The Braves are among the teams who have shown early interest.

Lowell targets Monday

When might you see Mike Lowell in an exhibition game? The target is Monday. The Red Sox are home  that day. Manager Terry Francona isn’t sure just yet if Lowell will be at first, third or in the DH slot.

Daisuke Matsuzaka will face hitters for the first time on Saturday, throwing BP on the backfield. It still appears as if Dice will pitch in a game of some sort — Minors maybe? — by the middle of the week.

Jason Varitek and Adrian Beltre were supposed to make the trip to Jupiter on Friday to face the Cardinals, but Francona called back to Fort Myers and told them not to bother. Varitek is still getting his legs back under him after tending to his ill father for several days. Kevin Youkilis is the only member of the starting nine expected to be on the trip.

Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been Mr. Bus Ride early in camp, was given these two days off on the East Coast. Francona said it would allow the outfielder extra time to take extra hitting, something the manager likes all hitters to have a chance to do at some point over the exhibition schedule.

The reunion with Jason Bay was about what you’d expect. Lots of hugs and handshakes during batting practice. It was a little surprising that Bay got some boos in his first at-bat. Obvioulsy there was a lot that went into him signing with the Mets instead of the Red Sox, but Bay was classy every step of the way.

Francona, who is a big fan of Bay, said he was amused to see the left fielder heckled just a bit. In a shocker, Bay handled it with perspective, sending third base coach DeMarlo Hale a text message during the game, saying, “That wasn’t as bad as I expected.”

There’s a chance the Sox will be rained out on Friday. The forecast for Jupiter is, well, ominous, to say the least. But we all know how quickly weather can change.

The Bay saga had several twists

Great job of reporting by Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, giving readers an in-depth look at all the twists and turns that ultimately led to no deal between Jason Bay and the Red Sox.

First, Bradford confirmed what was reported earlier this week by MLB.com’s Peter Gammons — that Bay and the Sox had agreed on a four-year, $60 million deal in July, only to have it fall apart due to a medical dispute. Bradford’s account is the first time that Bay confirms the story.

“That,” Bay tells Bradford, “is just one-tenth of the story.”

Bay took a physical in July, and the Red Sox’s medical staff had some red flags, namely the condition of the left fielder’s knees. Bay’s agent Joe Urbon had come to Boston, presumably for a press conference announcing the new deal. Instead, general manager Theo Epstein informed him of the team’s concerns, and the deal was put on hold.

The Red Sox said that they would keep Bay’s AAV — average annual value — the same, at $15 million per year. But they wanted protection in the third and fourth year, in the event Bay’s knees and shoulder acted up. The team also wanted Bay to undergo surgery at the end of the 2009 season.

Bay felt that his knees were fine and sought the advice of another doctor, who confirmed his belief.

The sides revisited the situation in the offseason, when Urbon informed Epstein of the second opinion. The sides than agreed to get a third opinion, and once again, Bay was given a clean bill of health.

On the first night of the Winter Meetings, according to Bradford, Epstein updated his proposal and made it three years guaranteed, with protection for the fourth year. The Red Sox also wanted Bay to pay part of the insurance policy he would need.

“Listen, I could understand the club wanting all these medical contingencies if I had spent any recent time on the DL,” Bay said to WEEI.com, “but I had no history of being a risk for injuries and I wasn’t hurt.”

At any rate, Bay found another suitor — the Mets — that didn’t share Boston’s concerns about his long-term health. And that was where he ended up.

If Bay has knee problems at some point over the next four years, the Red Sox will be proven right to take the conservative approach they did. If not, perhaps they will have regrets about losing out on the slugging left fielder, who fit in so well to the fabric of the team during his year and a half.

Bye-bye, Bay?

It is starting to appear unlikely that All-Star slugger Jason Bay will re-sign with the Boston Red Sox.

Amid a report from Foxsports.com that Bay had rejected Boston’s latest offer, Joe Urbon, the left fielder’s lead representative, did not dispute that his client could be slipping away from the Sox.

“I’m just saying that the initial offers we’ve received from other clubs are just much more attractive to Jason then the last offer we received from the Red Sox,” Urbon said in a phone interview with MLB.com.

There were reports in November that the Red Sox had made a four-year, $60 million offer to Bay that was rejected. When was their latest offer?

“Recently, very recently,” said Urbon, who met with the Red sox multiple times during the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, which concluded Thursday morning.

The Mets made an offer to Bay near the conclusion of the Meetings. Multiple news outlets had that proposal at four years and roughly $65 million.

The Angels initially said they would make a push for Bay, but manager Mike Scioscia said it was unlikely they would land the left fielder.

The one possible suitor that has been coy throughout regarding its level of interest in Bay is the Seattle Mariners. That is a situation that bears watching. Bay and his family live in the Seattle area during the offseason.

How many offers does the 31-year-old Bay currently have?

“I don’t want to go there,” said Urbon. “Multiple is what I’ll confirm.”

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has a policy of not commenting on any free-agent negotiations until they are complete.

Urbon has not entirely ruled out Bay resurfacing with the Red Sox.

“I think the fact that Jason hasn’t signed with a club yet — every club has a chance to sign Jason Bay, including the Red Sox,” Urbon said. “We’ve just got better offers, better opportunities from other clubs.”

It remains to be seen what Boston’s best plan of attack will be should Bay go elsewhere. Matt Holliday is a free-agent left fielder with similar credentials as Bay. Agent Scott Boras has been comparing Holliday to Mark Teixeira, who signed an eight-year, $180 million deal last winter.

If the Red Sox deem Holliday’s price to be too high, they could find a right-handed bat to platoon with Jeremy Hermida in left field. Mark DeRosa and Mike Cameron are two right-handed hitting outfielders the Red Sox have been linked to this winter.

The Red Sox are also in flux at third base, as Mike Lowell is on the verge of being traded to the Rangers. Adrian Beltre, another Boras client, is viewed to be one of Boston’s top targets at that position. The Red Sox could also get a first baseman and move Kevin Youkilis to third base.

Action should heat up in Indy

As the rumor mill continues to churn — are the Red Sox more interested in Matt Holliday than Jason Bay? — we should start seeing some actual moves take place soon.

Tuesday is when the Red Sox — and all teams across MLB — must offer arbitration to their free agents. If they don’t offer arbitration, teams can sign those players without giving up compensation. Of course the Sox will offer arbitration to Jason Bay and Billy Wagner, guaranteeing them compensation should those players sign with other teams.

While the Halladay story from the NY Daily News that came out a week ago certainly got the juices flowing among Sox fans, the club discreetly has told members of other media outlets that the report was exaggerated. Still, stay tuned on this one, as Halladay is sure to be dealt and you know the Red Sox will at the very least, be in the mix.

You wonder how much Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will discuss an Adrian Gonzalez deal. Of all the hitters or pitchers available on the market — trade or free agent — I think this is the guy who would be perfect for the Red Sox.

Exactly one week from today, the Winter Meetings will be underway in Indy and I will be blogging throughout the four days.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

As for tonight’s big game? Patriots 38, Saints 34. Buckle up.

All is quiet — for now

I know everyone is getting restless because the speculation is out there on the Hot Stove front but not a whole lot has happened yet. This is the calm before the storm.

At the end of Thursday — when midnight turns to Friday — all free agents will be eligible to sign with other teams. This is where things will start to pick up.

Obviously with the Red Sox, the big domino is Jason Bay. Will they be able to keep him, and if not, who plays left field?

The Billy Wagner situation is also interesting. Could he actually stay in Boston? The likelihood is still that he will go somewhere else and the Red Sox will get compensatory draft picks.

Then, there is the shortstop situation. Who will it be? Alex Gonzalez? Omar Vizquel? Marco Scutaro? One reason I don’t see them signing Scutaro is because they are so high on Julio Iglesias as the shortstop of the future, and Iglesias might only be a year or two away.

They spoke with John Lackey’s agent, but I don’t see that as a vialbe option. As the most accomplished starter on the market, Lackey is likely going to get big bucks from someone this winter, and when it comes to starting pitchers in their 30s, that someone is usually not the Red Sox.

Now that one Jason is back, what becomes of the other?

The catching situation is now finalized. Jason Varitek has agreed to be a $3 million backup for next season. Now, on to some of the other matters of the offseason.

What will it take to keep Jason Bay under the employ of the Boston Red Sox? There have been several reports — though none substantiated — that Boston has made an offer somewhere around four years at $60 million. If that is indeed the case, I’m very encouraged that they can get something done.

If not, Holliday is not a bad alternative. Not at all. But Bay has already proved he can play in Boston while Holliday might need an adjustment period.

What else does Theo Epstein have up his sleeve this winter? I just get the feeling there is going to be a major move or two, but it’s too early to say what. The market needs to play itself out for a while.

Bay in an unfamiliar spot

It appeared there was a misprint in the lineup card for Saturday night’s game. Left fielder Jason Bay was batting in the No. 2 spot in the batting order, hardly where you’d expect the team’s best home run hitter to be.

Bay had fun with Francona after seeing his slot in the lineup. “He goes, you’ve finally come to your senses.”

Before the game, Bay joked that he had told Francona it was about time the team started utilizing his on-base capabilities.

With Jacoby Ellsbury getting the night off, Dustin Pedroia moved to the leadoff spot. That move paid immediate dividends when Pedroia unloaded for a solo shot that went on to Lansdowne Street in the bottom of the first. Bay also looked fine in a spot he will probably never hit in again, nailing an RBI single in the second that tied the game.

Getting Ellsbury some time off was something Francona loved having the opportunity to do. The speedy center fielder has 621 at-bats, topped only by Dustin Pedroia.

Bay goes deep, then leaves ill

Jason Bay delivered his 34th home run of the season in the fourth inning of Friday night’s game, but exited in the bottom of the fifth inning with “flu-like” symptoms.

Josh Reddick replaced Bay in left field.

Thanks to Bay’s home run, the Red Sox had a 2-1 lead over the Orioles at Camden Yards when Bay left the game.

Bay takes a breather against Doc

Sensing that durable left fielder Jason Bay could use a day off, Red Sox manager Terry Francona picked Sunday’s matchup against Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay to make it happen.

Bay entered the day with 122 games played, tied with Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury for the team lead.

“I think Bay needs a day off. I think I need a day off,” Francona said. “I just think it’s a day that – there’s certain guys that don’t get very many. He’s one of them so you try to pick and choose and make it be a day where it really helps him.”

The Red Sox don’t play on Monday, which effectively gives Bay a two-day respite leading into Tuesday’s game at Tropicana Field against the Tampa Bay Rays.

“I just think that going home and knowing this morning that he was waking up not playing should help him a little. He plays a lot,” Francona said. “I just think he needed it. He didn’t put up a fight. When he doesn’t put up a fight, he must need it.”

Rocco Baldelli occupied Bay’s spot in left field and batted seventh. Mike Lowell was also out of the lineup for the third time in the last four games. Victor Martinez started at first base, with Kevin Youkilis playing third and Jason Varitek catching Paul Byrd’s first Major League game of 2009.

Ian Browne

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