2010 Hot Stove: The case against Bay

Look, I love Jason Bay as a human being. And I appreciate all that he’s done for the Red Sox since arriving in Boston a season and a half ago. But he’s just not the guy for the Red Sox to sign this offseason – he’s coming off a career year and a half, and he plays defense roughly like a bump on a log. To think that he may sign a deal on par with or even bigger than Matt Holliday this offseason just boggles my mind.

I am not alone in my assessment; any sabermetric guy will tell you the same thing: Holliday is a better player than Bay. Look at the WAR numbers. He doesn’t have Bay’s raw power, but he is a better pure hitter and gets on base more. Forget the talk about playing in Colorado, the guy did it in St. Louis as well. And you can discount most of the criticism that he can’t hit in the AL. After a really dreadful April, Holliday hit .300/.400/.480 despite playing in pitcher-friendly McAfee Coliseum. As for Bay, he is a strikeout machine who is way below average in producing line drives because of that uppercut swing. One year older than Holliday, the way the unathletic Bay will age doesn’t look promising. Dave Cameron even draws some comparisons to Richie Sexson before the M’s got him; not good.

My projections for these two in 2010 show a clear gap, showing a difference of 36 points of OPS and 15 of wOBA in favor of Holliday:

Bay      .263/.366/.490/.856, .383 wOBA
Holliday .303/.387/.505/.892, .398 wOBA

Add plus defense to Holliday’s already significant offensive advantage, and the case is clear. I don’t even think Bay is a better player than J.D. Drew, to be honest with you.

Let’s just hope that this rumor by Jon Heyman is just that. I’m sure he’s trying to drum up prices for his buddy, Scott Boras, who just happens to be representing Holliday. I’m beginning to think that signing Holliday will be very tough this year, with a lot of needy buyers with fairly deep pockets. He says he wants to end up in New York anyway, but that may be a ploy to cause the Red Sox to panic. We may have to settle for Johnny Damon in left. Or what would Jermaine Dye look like playing in left field?


4 Responses to 2010 Hot Stove: The case against Bay

  1. Jeff Carini says:

    Jermaine Dye might be an interesting idea, although what happened in the 2nd half this year?

    Looks like Abreu is heading back to the Angels so we can cross him off the list.

    I think it makes sense to make Holliday a significant offer and hope he and Boras don’t drag things out too long.

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    Dye comes in at .265/.341/.475/.816 with 27 HR and 83 RBI in my projections (.360 wOBA). The White Sox are going to turn down his $12M mutual option. He’s a terrible fielder in right, but maybe he’d be passable in front of the Monster?

    From CBS Sports:
    “After a strong first half in which he hit .302 with 20 home runs and 55 RBI, Dye, 35, has hit only .179 with seven homers and 24 RBI since the All-Star break.”

    At age 36 you could be looking at a permanent downturn in ability, or it could just be an extended slump like Ortiz had at the start of the year. It’s a gamble, but I could see us being able to get him on a 1-year deal.

  3. Pingback: Hot Stove 2010: How much to pay Bay? « Red Sox Talk

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