Avg: .301, HR: 13, RBI: 44, OBP: .433, Slug: .657
Jason Bay has exceeded even our highest expectations as a baseball player...and there are those in our readership that believe ITM's own Tim Murphy is his long lost younger brother. The biggest difference being that Jay Bay is on pace for 50+ taters and a multi million dollar contract. In his defense, I've heard stories that Murphy can play organized softball with the best that West Roxbury has to offer.
Anyways, the real debate about Jason Bay rages on...do you pursue locking him up long term now, at whatever price it takes, or see how the season and free agent market plays out before resurrecting contract talks. Currently, his contract pays him 7.88 million this year, an incredible steal at this point, but we all know that will change quickly. While he has been a fantastic added bat to the lineup (you can stack his stats against any player's at this point), his market value is also at an all-time high.
It's a tough call, but here are my thoughts: lock him into a 4 year deal ASAP. There is just no doubt about it in my mind. As a right handed pull hitter who finally has the talent around him to make him (and subsequently, his numbers) better, Boston suits him in a plethora of ways. Playing in front of a packed house every night surrounded by great baseball talent has been a welcome change for Bay, with his career essentially doing a 180 from his lonely days with the cellar-dwelling Pirates. He has clearly shown the ability to humbly accept the spotlight of Boston,while being a quiet, but positive addition to the clubhouse. He's quickly become wildly popular in New England, even without dreadlocks or childish antics, he plays the game hard and right, and the Boston fan base respects the hell out of that.
You can easily make the argument that his glove AND bat have been an upgrade over our 20 million dollar per year option which was on the table last year. He's managed to pick up for the production lost with Ortiz losing his mojo and the failed off season Teix signing. With that in mind, the Sox have the money to thank him for bailing them out, they should pony up and get it done.
Bring on the Mets.