2010 Hot Stove: The case against Bay
November 5, 2009 4 Comments
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?