Rumors were swirling late last week that the Marlins and Mets were throwing around the possibility of a change-of-scenery trade between the teams. The rumored trade would send outfielder Jason Bay to Miami for catcher John Buck and reliever Heath Bell. This is is the second part in a series, opposing the trade.
Obviously, I’m not Jason Bay’s biggest fan, but I’d rather keep him then get back Buck and Bell.
Yes, there are the pros I listed the other days, and developing Valdespin would be nice, but what’s stopping the Mets from doing that without trading Bay? Just because Bay is making more than 20 times Valdespin is making doesn’t mean Bay should get 20 times the starts.
The Mets can’t try to justify the Bay contract anymore and they’re just starting to realize that.They made another huge mistake and it’s going to hurt the team in the upcoming year, but they can deal with it. They don’t need to take on an extra $9 million in 2014, with another possible $9 million due in 2015 based on Bell’s performance.
While Buck would be a nice complement to Thole behind the plate, neither are really cornerstone players, and Buck is certainly not worth his $6 million contract next year.
But the biggest issue in this trade would be bringing Bell back to New York. Not only was Bell flat-out awful in his three-year stint with New York (4.92 ERA over 108 IP), but he harbors hatred towards the Mets franchise.
He was a fan-favorite, kind of like a Rick Reed of the ’90s, or a Mike Baxter of today. Not a superstar, but a cult hero for fans. Bell went out of his way to please Mets fans, developing his sprint from the bullpen in Flushing, and always willing to stay late to sign autographs.
Omar Minaya and the Mets’ brass at the time returned Bell’s dedication to the team by sending him between AAA and the majors multiple times in his stints. He was left of the postseason roster and given away in a trade to the Padres for journey Rob Johnson. He’s harbored ill-will towards the Mets ever since, and was delighted when he got the first save in Citi Field history.
He’s been vocal about his displeasure with the organization and the change-of-scenery this trade would give Heath Bell may reduce his performance even more. A toxic situation when the franchise is a year away from contention would set the Mets back more than Jason Bay already has. It’s a good deal on paper, but the Mets can’t make this trade.