Here’s one from the Bizarro world known as ESPN, where expertise is discouraged in favor of providing…um…words; words in some semblance of…order regardless of content and whether what those words conveyed make, y’know, logical sense on planet Earth.
Matt Meyers writes on ESPN Insider (it’s subscription only so I’ll cut and paste the relevant bits) that the Mets should release Jason Bay.
The Jason Bay he refers to has two guaranteed years remaining on his contract at $32 million; he has a contract kicker for 2014 at $17 million that activates if he has 500 plate appearances in 2012 and 2013 or 600 plate appearances in 2013.
Releasing Jason Bay would require the club—a club that has no money—eating $32 million and then finding a replacement for Bay.
Because, according to Meyers, Bay is “mediocre at best and putrid at worst” in the outfield, Meyers suggests Endy Chavez as his replacement.
Who the Mets are going to place in the middle of the lineup to have any kind of offensive threat is unclear; how they’ll score without whatever limited amounts of offense Bay can provide at this point in his career is unsaid; and that’s before finding out exactly whom his replacement in left field will be.
Bay isn’t that bad an outfielder; it’s a reputation he carted over from the Red Sox as a smear campaign was initiated to justify their then questionable decision to let him leave and it was only reinforced by Bay’s UZR numbers…until UZR altered their formula at mid-season 2010 to, lo and behold, say that Bay wasn’t as bad as they originally thought.
As for his hitting, there’s no defending his lack of production given his career history and what the Mets are paying for, but to release him? And let him go to a contender for nothing?
Meyers’s “plan”, short of winning the bidding war for Chavez, is to shift Lucas Duda to left field:
Duda, who is 25 years old and has a .278/.349/.466 line with the Mets this year after crushing Triple-A the past two seasons, has shown he is a major league-caliber hitter. However, Duda is not an effective right fielder. So with first base blocked by Davis, the Mets need to find a way to put him in left because he can be a nice, cost-controlled solution there for the next five years. In right, he’s a liability. In left, he’s an asset.
Who’s going to play right field? The Mets aren’t going to have the money—with the ownership’s financial problems and having handed Bay a $32 million golden parachute to leave—to find anyone with name recognition. So who?
Of course they could get lucky somewhere, but if they’re hoping to hit the lottery, they might as well hope to hit the lottery with Bay and get something for the cash Meyers has them flushing down the toilet.
Rather than release Bay—which is absolutely ludicrous before Meyers’s argument and worse after—they could trade him for another bad contract and get something for him to see if a change-of-scenery helps any other team’s highly paid and unproductive players.
Meyers then says in reference to Mets GM Sandy Alderson:
Alderson already showed he’s not afraid to cut bait on underperfoming veterans with big contracts when he cut Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo in spring training. The money on Bay is spent, and the Mets should just treat it as a sunk cost and just tell Bay, “Sorry, but this just didn’t work out.” Considering his performance to date as a Met (.721 OPS), it would be hard to say they aren’t acting in the best interest of the club.
The failure to express the differences between Bay and Castillo/Perez is conspicuous if you’re looking for legitimate, common sense analysis; if you’re looking for stuff flung at a wall to slide down like a dead millipede, they I suppose you’ll agree with Meyers.
Castillo and Perez were absolutely and totally useless to the Mets and had to be dispatched for reasons that extended further than their on-field ineptitude; for a fresh start with the new regime, the club had to eat the combined $18 million of two players who were going to deliver nothing. Castillo had a brief trial with the Phillies and didn’t play this year; Perez has spent the season in the minors for the Nationals.
Bay hasn’t declined to that level; nor has he engendered the vitriol in the clubhouse that those two did.
I love these decisive maneuvers without a viable solution as a backup plan. They release Bay and….and….and….Endy Chavez? Shift Duda to left? Then what?
If Meyers came up with a comparable contract along with the Mets eating some money to trade Bay for Chone Figgins or Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners; or that the Mets take Barry Zito, Carlos Zambrano or John Lackey in exchange for Bay, I’d say that it’s something to explore; but to release him?!?
This is ESPN at its best. Or worst.
A ridiculous idea; shaky premises; no endgame other than the initial decision that would be utterly disastrous and following it up by making things worse than they’d be if they kept Bay and hoped for the best.
In short, it’s ESPN logic. And that means it’s not logical at all.