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 final part of the series, examining the financial aspect.
While cases can be made both for and against the Jason Bay trade, this post is mostly going to focus on how awful each of the three players have been during their respective contracts. First, here are each player’s contracts.
Initial Contract: 4 yr/$66 million deal signed in 2010, with year four (2014) being a vesting option, or requiring a $3 million buyout.
Remaining: $19+ million ($16 million next year, $3 million buyout, remaining salary this year).
Initial Contract: 3 yr/$27 million deal signed in 2011, with a team option for 2015, that could become a vesting option based on performance
Remaining: $21 million+ (two years at $9 million, $3 million in delayed bonus payments, remaining salary this year)
Initial Contract: 3 yr/$18 million deal signed in 2010
Remaining: $6+ million ($6 million next year, remaining salary this year)
While the Mets would upgrade in two areas after this deal, they’d be taking on an extra $8 million-and-change. The Mets are still a big-market team, but they have made shrewd moves in lieu of giving out big contracts in recent years. The Madoff scandal and subsequent settlement took a decent chunk of change out the Wilpons’ pockets.
One of the reasons the Mets went with Sandy Alderson as their GM was his track record of success with an extremely limited budget in San Diego. Their 2011 opening day payroll decreased by over $40 million in 2012, and Mets ownership sold $240 million in minority stakes to keep control of the franchise.
The Mets are stuck paying Jason Bay regardless. He’s not a nut-case like K-Rod and won’t give the Mets reason to put him on the restricted list. He’s a professional player in the midst of an incredible struggle, taking his demotion to bench warmer with grace. But what kind of production would the Mets rather be paying? All three are ridiculously overpaid for what they actually do.
They could continue paying Jason Bay nearly $300,000 for every hit he gets, or pay John Buck $116,883 for every hit he gets and Heath Bell $201,492 for every out he records. The Mets could decide to continue to pay Bay $26,336 for every strike he takes or swings at, or pay Buck $9,202 for his similar services, while paying Bell $87,947 for every ball he throws.
Either way, they’re stuck paying outrageous money for abysmal performances.