Trading Jason Bay: Name your price for our LF

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?


11 Responses to “Trading Jason Bay: Name your price for our LF”

  1. Cory Humes Says:

    Teams that I think could/should have interest: Cleveland, maybe the Yankees (Bay-Cabrera-Abreu with Matsui at 1st and Damon at DH), Minnesota, the White Sox … man, just about everyone who isn’t rebuilding. There are very few teams that J-Bay couldn’t fit into.
    My asking price is 2-4 low-level prospects. I don’t want a deal built around major-league talent because I don’t think the Pirates are a competitive team in 2008, and maybe not even in 2009.

  2. John Mast Says:

    What’s the status of Jack Wilson? If he is on his way out as last year rumored, wouldn’t a 24 year old Jhonny Peralta be a viable, cheap option?
    Looking at the Tribe’s position farmhands I’d guess some of the names that would surface would be the following:
    TREVOR CROWE — Speedy outfielder drafted in first round a few years back. Stumbled slightly when promoted to Akron (AA) this year but rebounded nicely once he settled in. Ticketed for Cleveland in the somewhat near future he would probably be high on my list if I’m Huntington.
    BRIAN BARTON — Undrafted, Barton has risen quickly on the prospect chart. He’s a base-stealing threat, but not like Crowe, and can hit for a nice blend of power and average. Age is beginning to creep up for a AA/AAA player.
    JON VAN EVERY — Just promoted to AAA Buffalo, this CF has all of a sudden been hitting the ball with regularity. He hit .344 in AA before being promoted to Buffalo where he finished the year at .272.
    STEPHEN HEAD — Highly-touted 1B prospect provided average season at AA Akron.
    JORDAN BROWN — Brown is somewhat of a tweener. He garnered the Tribe’s MiLPOY honors while hitting .333 for the Aeros at 1B/DH and OF. He has some speed and decent power but while he gets awards and has great results, you still never hear mention of him as one of the Tribe’s top prospects.
    Ryan Mulhern – 1B with pop and average at AAA
    Beau Mills – 1B/3B 1st round pick at single A Kinston
    Brad Snyder – Former 1st rounder who has not impressed
    Andy Marte – You know about him (out of options)
    Shin Soo Choo – OF with Tommy John (out of options)
    It seems that Cory’s package of 2-4 prospects would be fair for Bay, who’s future is somewhat in question after this year. But the Indians are the perfect match with Huntington’s knowledge and plenty of good talent to spare. He will ask for RHP Adam Miller and Mills but will be rebuffed. From there I would go to Trevor Crowe and pitcher Chuck Lofgren who pitched in the futures game at this year’s all star game.
    If you could get Crowe and Lofgren you have two of the better prospects in the system, then it’s a game to see what extras you throw in. Snyder will likely be one because he’s loaded with talent but has not produced (for some reason he reminds me of Brad Wilkerson). Marte and Choo could be throw-ins as part of a deal. I’m sure Huntington has knowledge of players I never heard of, but Crowe and Lofgren seem to make sense to me as the cornerstone of the deal.
    As a Tribe fans those are two I hate to give up, but where the Indians are as an organization it seems both prudent and timely.
    Sorry guys, for the long post. I just wanted to update you on some of the Tribe’s talent for a possible deal.

  3. David Hannes Says:

    If the Pirates weren’t in the same division as the Brewers, I could see the Brew Crew going after Bay…although I think Doug Melvin would only part with a Kevin Mench or Claudio Vargas from the parent club, and, perhaps, Zach Jackson or R.A. Dickey from AAA.

  4. Shane Says:

    As an Indians fan I will be ticked off if they give up Crowe and/or Lofgren for Jason Bay. Crowe is a beast and would probably have a place in CF with the Indians if they didn’t have a guy named Grady Sizemore. Hopefully, the Indians don’t start making mistakes and getting rid of good players for guys on the decline.

  5. Jackson Andrews Says:

    I wish I would’ve known about the Fantasy Bust of the Year race … I would’ve nominated Travis Hafner. I’m not sure that I would give up Crowe AND Lofgren, but I certainly think you could give up one or the other and include a couple lower-level prospects and feel comfortable. Just like most Indians fans are saying, “Hafner will hit again…he’s got a TRACK RECORD!” the Indians front office probably makes that deal assuming the same for Bay. Let’s be honest, it’s down years from guys like Bay that allow us to snag 29-year-olds who can hit for power and drive in runs. Had he put up MVP numbers we wouldn’t be talking about this because he’d have been snatched by someone else at the trade deadline (Yankees?) and he’d be theirs until 2009! There’s an element of risk involved with (virtually) any deal you make as a mid-to-small market team
    That being said, I repeat, Lofgren and Crowe is probably too much for Jason Bay, But Lofgren and Barton, or Crowe and Mulhern … I think you’re in a position where you have to roll the dice.
    Man, I should’ve said all that on the Tribe Report…

  6. Randy Says:

    If I was DL I’d be looking to trade him to whichever team holds the rights to Jose Hernandez and swap them even up. If Hernandez is unavailable, then make it Cristian Guzman.

  7. Newmie Says:

    I agree with Cory. We have outfielders to replace Bay at the ML level. Pearce or McLouth could man LF. Two of the better farm systems teams, Arizona and Colorado, don’t need OF help. The Pirates need to take the best players offered, regardless of their position. Where could they not need upgraded. If we could get Garza, do it. I think the Dodgers would be a good partner. Kemp for Bay won’t happen. I would try to get Hu, Elbert, and Bell. I think a Bay trade could set up other trades. If we get Hu or another SS then Jack could be traded, his value will never be higher.

  8. Paul B. Says:

    “IF I WAS DL? He”s unemployed!

  9. The Real Neal Says:

    Eric Patterson, Gallagher and a big stack of watermelons for Bay.

  10. Cory Humes Says:

    I like watermelon — deal.

  11. Jason Bay Says:

    How about Seattle for Jeff Clement and a top outfield prospect (Adam Jones)? I would be a big draw in my “hometown”…

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