We already signed Freddy Sanchez, why not bring over another one of the Pirates former stars? It is no secret that the Giants are in the market for a player with pop and power. We need to score runs, and we need someone who can bat in the fourth hole who is not as slow as Bengie "Ima take my time" Molina. Jason Bay seems like someone who might be able to fill that role for us.
Who is Jason Bay? Bay currently plays for the Red Sox, but he came up through the Padres system, but ended up with the Pirates and, in fact, Bay played with Freddy Sanchez back in Pittsburgh. In 2008, Bay was involved in a three-way trade involving the Pirates, the Dodgers, and the Red Sox. Manny Ramirez left Boston for Los Angeles, Laroche and Morris went to Pittsburgh, and Bay ended up in Boston (where he would replace Ramirez in left field).
Bay was selected for the 2009 All-star team, and Sporting News listed Bay as the 41st best baseball player today. Bay stated that he would test the free agent market for the 2010 year. Boston still seems interested in Bay though, and the Giants seems to be the other team in the running to get him.
What are Bay's strengths? Basically, he is essentially what the Giants need: a player that excels in nearly every offensive statistic. Bay is a good base runner and has a healthy number of stolen bases. The guy can also rake: he has a career .280 avg and185 HR. Bay has some power, clearly: in 2009 he had a .547 SLG. He shows great plate discipline, as he walks often (15 BB%). He owned a .921 OPS in 2009.
Clearly, Bay would be a great addition for the Giants offensively. A possible line-up might be:
Or some variation thereof. All of a sudden our lineup seems pretty formidable. If Renteria's poor performance in 2009 was due largely to his arm injury, then maybe we will look even better.
So what is bad about Bay? He apparently is below average in left field. He also will not come on the cheap. I would expect to pay at least $15 million a year for this guy. However, I think it would be worth it if we were able to get into the post-season next year. Afterall, that's the point of the game. We cannot be in rebuilding mode forever. I think we finally have the ability to make a strong run for the NL West, after years of trying to tread water.
I would support a move for Jason Bay. How likely is it that we will get him? I think we would generally lose a bidding war with the Red Sox. However, we do have one thing going for us: Matt Holliday. Holliday will never play in San Francisco, however he could go for Boston. If the Red Sox got Holliday, there would be no reason for them to sign Bay. Holliday probably go to the highest bidder, and it looks like the Red Sox may just be that.
Only time can tell, but I think Sabean will keep a close eye on the Bay situation.