As the hot stove season progresses, the Pirates could—and should—be active in the trade market. We have a number of commodities that might be near their peak value, and a smart general manager (which we hope Neal Huntington is) would do well for himself by selling at a high point.
One such sell-high candidate is Jason Bay.
Sell high, you snicker? Did you see his 2007 season?
The player THT Fantasy Focus called the “fantasy bust of the year”? The same one that hit .247/.322/.418 with 21 homers and four stolen bases? The corner of our franchise that suddenly started to sag, the one whose highest monthly batting average post-May was .237?
Forgive us Pirate fans—we might be a little bitter that our alleged All-Star went missing in action from June through September.
But yes—yes, we can still sell high on Jason Bay. High, at least in comparison to what his value might be after this next season.
Perception is nine-tenths of reality, and many fans (and perhaps teams) still perceive Jason Bay to be the hammer-wielding, base-stealing, fly ball-chasing left fielder that existed pre-2007. And who knows, maybe J-Bay is still that game-changing player. What I do know is that on a rebuilding team, Bay has no place. I’d be trading him this off-season and looking for the best possible deal.
As Matt noted, his defense is a liability. (Matt also wrote that Bay’s regression was sudden and dramatic.) In late July, I thought that his plate discipline had faded.
Not exactly attributes of a player that would bring a king’s ransom, but again—it’s Bay’s perceived value that matters. What would teams pay for a 29-year-old outfielder with marginal defensive skills, negligible speed, but who put up an OPS over .900 for his previous three major-league seasons?
The gang over at Tribe Report, MVN’s look at the Cleveland Indians, has been debating that very point, throwing around names like Cliff Lee and Jhonny Peralta in potential packages for our slugger. As I mentioned earlier in the week, Joliet Jake from Bucco Blog wrote that a Bay-for-Matt Garza swap might interest Minnesota. And in reality, Jason Bay could fit in on just about every team that doesn’t have Manny Ramirez in left field. He might not be a stud, be he’s a playable, relatively inexpensive option.
I’m not quite sure what I’d do if I were Huntington. Where would you look to trade Jason Bay, and why?