Jason Bay’s Negotiations With The Red Sox

Jason Bay gives Rob Bradford of WEEI.com a blow-by-blow account of his contract negotiations with the Red Sox. The process was complex, frustrating and drawn out, according to Bay. Peter Gammons reported earlier in the week that the Red Sox pulled their four-year $60MM offer to the left fielder over health concerns last summer.

But as Bay tells WEEI.com, “That is just one-tenth of the story.”

Bay underwent numerous physical inspections after the Red Sox voiced concerns over the outfielder's knees and shoulder. Bay says his health checked out, but the Red Sox offered one deal that was contingent on Bay having knee surgery after the 2009 season.

“I was shocked, to say the least," Bay said. "Particularly since I wasn’t hurt.”

The sides continued to talk, but Bay ultimately signed for four guaranteed years with the Mets and has "no regrets" about his decision.

26 Responses to Jason Bay’s Negotiations With The Red Sox Leave a Reply

  1. I can’t help but think that if this were the other way around, the Mets would be getting BRUTALIZED by the media. Instead the Red Sox are getting a total pass.

    • The teams are on two different levels here. The Sox continue to be good and win while the Mets have over 100mill on the d.l. (not saying the Sox dont but not nearly anywhere near that) and they don’t win.

  2. Russell210 5 years ago

    The Red Sox are often paraded for their cutting edge medical evaluation, picking up lots of pitchers with injury histories hoping to turn them around. And it’s often Gammons’ propaganda that this reputation continues as a positive.

    But as we have seen with their continued failure (Papi and the steroid culture, the failures of Smoltz and the plethora of relief pitchers last season, Jason Bay and their negotiating ploys) it is all smoke and mirrors.


    • Drew 5 years ago

      I don’t have a horse here, so I have no agenda. But imagine what’ll happen if Bay blows a knee out or develops shoulder problems. All of a sudden they’ll look like geniuses…

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Sorry, what? Which part of what you described is classless? Certainly not on the negotiations with Bay described here.

      They owed him no contract and appear to believe he is either a serious injury risk or just not worth more money that what they offered. At least one of those things (the latter) is already known to be true. Time will tell on the other.

      Also, how many of those high-ceiling injury risks didn’t pan out **because of injury**? It doesn’t seem to me to be the fault of the medical team that recently injured pitchers didn’t all have immediately brilliant returns to form. That’s very much on the talent evaluators, isn’t it?

      Gammons is heavily biased, yes. And yes, pour on the criticisms for all the moves that didn’t pan out; that’s deserved. But classless? Bad medical evaluation? I don’t see anything here to base that on.

      • Wek 5 years ago

        I don’t have any problem with the contract offered to Bay (4 years at $60mil) but some of the stipulations were ridiculous. Undergo a knee surgery when you don’t need it? What is the point in that when there was no need for it? Pay a portion of his insurance? Come on, Theo is a great GM and has achived great things with the club but he goes over the line when trying to lowball players.

        As for the medical report, the medical staff could be the best in MLB but to say that their evaluation of Bay was right or even proper is laughable. It might not be a bad evaluation but it certanly incorrect. Three other doctors examined Bay’s MRI results and concluded the same, he was healthy. Did Theo insist on Bay having the knee surgery with the second contract? That’s when Theo came up with the brilliant idea of Bay paying “a substantial amount” of his insurance.

        Think Lester, Youkilis and Pedroia would have signed their extremly team friendly contract knowing this kind of things?

        • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

          If the stipulations were ridiculous and the offer was low, then they don’t get the player (Bay in this case). Of course, they didn’t **want** the player without the stipulations. So everyone’s happy. What line has Epstein gone over? No player has an objective value. He’s worth a different amount to each team and these values are determined conditionally. Some of those conditions are made explicit in contract offers, that’s all.

          • Wek 5 years ago

            What line has Epstein gone over you ask? How about using his medical staff to produce a questionable report to lowball him and turn a guaranteed $15mil/4years contract to $15mil/2 + 2 years with a salary based on Bay’s health and productivity AND making Bay undergo knee surgery for no apparent cause? And when his questionable report was shot down by 3 different physicians, Theo brilliantly added to the contract that Bay pay “a substantial amount of the insurance policy”. Really? Might as well pay for everything. Has any GM in the history of the sport ever asked a player to pay for basically his own insurance? Incentive based contracts and escalators are different from this types of contracts.

          • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

            “How about using his medical staff to produce a questionable report to lowball him and turn a guaranteed $15mil/4years contract to $15mil/2 + 2 years with a salary based on Bay’s health and productivity AND making Bay undergo knee surgery for no apparent cause?”

            He didn’t make anyone do anything. He got a report from his medical staff and crafted a contract offer accordingly.

            “Has any GM in the history of the sport ever asked a player to pay for basically his own insurance? Incentive based contracts and escalators are different from this types of contracts.”

            I dunno, but it doesn’t strike me as outrageous, since all Bay had to do is say “No” — and he did.

            IOW the team says “You’re worth 15/4 to me if and only if you do make sure we’re covered against injury by you doing this.” What about this offends you? Would you be offended if they didn’t offer him any contract at all? How about one with no medical stipulations, but an AAV of like 5 million?

            All Epstein is saying is “As you are, you’re not worth 4/15 to us. If you want 4/15, the only way we would be comfortable is if you agree to x y and z.” And Bay says no thanks. Where’s the scandal?

  3. captkeith17 5 years ago

    He has no regrets? Guess he hasn’t heard of the Matthews deal yet.

  4. Mburg85 5 years ago

    the red sox aren’t getting a pass here, theo’s been criticized sine the second he didn’t sign him when he should have. My opinion? theo made a big mistake not re-signing him. I think a player know’s his own body.

  5. humbb 5 years ago

    Don’t worry Jason … the Mets will never demand that you have surgery. As a matter of fact, they will not even let you go near a hospital.

  6. If the Sox are going to dish out the money he was demanding why not be as critical as possible? They should want to protect there investment.vAny should be that way with any player regardless of how much. Demanding he has surgery? That might be taking it a little to far.

  7. pastorwhite 5 years ago

    by being classless i think he was referring to the Boston Organization.

    I mean, this shouldn’t be of any surprises…back in the day, Red Sox were the last team to allow black baseball players: classless

    Rice talking smack about the classiest baseball player, comparing Derek Jeter to A-Rod, Manny, and Ortiz: Classless

    unwilling to negotiate with players with in reason, Pedro, Manny, Damon, Nomar, Boggs: classless

    But I think that when the guy up top posted classless…he was referring to Gammons. Aren’t medical reports suppose to be confidential?? classless
    Even if they werent confidential…Gammons bringing up the subject implying that Mets made a dumb move: classless
    Doing all this wishy washy stuff with Gammons the bias Sox fan: CLASSLESS!!!

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      1) I agree that racism and Rice’s comments are dumb. I don’t know what they have to do with the present members of the organization. (Do you consider yourself responsible for or even reflected upon by everything the company you work for has ever done?)

      2) Unless “class” means nothing more than “to do what someone else wants you to”, the negotiations with those players were not lacking it. They valued those players less than other teams and thus offered contracts those players did not want more than they wanted other contracts offered to them. All standard procedure.

      3) Gammons annoys me too, but without any of you telling me what class is supposed to mean, I’m not sure how I am or anyone else is supposed to conclude that you’re right or wrong. So far it’s just a hollow pejorative.

      • pastorwhite 5 years ago

        your rebuttal made perfect sense…But
        Rice’s comment were pretty recent and he does represent the Boston Red Sox to an extent?? wouldn’t you agree???

        So let me ask you this…how does Gammons know about the knee situation if he wasnt informed by the RS org?? Gammons is suppose to be working for NESN in the near future or soemthing like that,right?? Doesn’t this kinda remind you of the little folk story/aesop/whatever you wanna call it about “Sour grapes”??? And what makes you think that the Red Sox Org is considered classy??? they have classless players such as what Youk did to Porcello??

    • how is negotiating with certain players classless? in spring training of ’04 we offered nomar 4/60. same deal as bay in 2009. which by money standars means we offered nomar a bigger contract cause of inflation. Pedro wanted stupid money and guess who realized his shoulder was about to fall off? the training staff. Manny, enough said. boggs i dont really know about that situation so i cannot comment on that.

      and i will give you gammons is completley bias lol

      • pastorwhite 5 years ago

        But you see, this is classless because all of this is coming out…after the fact that Bay has signed with Mets. Prior to Bay signing, this was not mentioned. Half of the accusations are not even truth.(i dont know that for sure but claimed false) plus honestly…you dont need your knees playing LF at Fenway!! lol

        I hate Peter Gammons!!

        • true about left field, thats what i was wondering all along lol but legs are the most important part of the swing so that could be a factor too and your right, about all this coming out after the fact he signed. as a die hard sox fan i do have to say that is pretty low.

          • pastorwhite 5 years ago

            oh i just thought of this…if bay was such a “pre-hazard” when he hasnt gone on the DL stint (not 100%sure) but I don’t think he did. Why would you invest more money into John Lackey who is known for repeated elbow surgery and on the DL last couple of years??

          • trust me i dont like it as much as the next guy

    • Wow…someone doesnt like the sox….negotiate with Manny,Damon,Nomar? really?? Nomar and Manny were cancers in the clubhouse and damon took 1-2 mil more from the yanks..Boston offered him 4/44..11mil per and HE said no….and really, can we get over the whole race thing…Welcome to Boston Bill Hall and Mike Cameron..

  8. they did not want him that bad the bridge Theo was talking about is 2 years from now in my opinion Both Adrian Gonzalez and Albert Pujols will be free agents that’s when they will spend there money the Yankees do not need a 1st baseman

    • BayAreaBoss 5 years ago

      but they could ALWAYS use a DH.. never count the Yanks out of any sweepstakes, especially when talking about the best players in the game.

  9. wakefield4life 5 years ago

    I don’t see what was wrong with the Sox last offer – 15M per year, 3 guaranteed years, and a fourth option (probably a vesting option) based upon medical concerns. If Bay is as healthy as he says he is, than he’s getting the contract he wanted for the years he wanted. I can understand not wanting to sign a contract contingent on a health concern you aren’t ailed with, but since JD Drew’s contract and the Lugo signing that led to being on the DL on numerous occasions, it seems to be common practice for the Sox to include health-related options on multi-year deals. He wasn’t getting singled out, he was getting the same treatment the other Sox stars get. Also, 3/4 doctors said he was fit to play and the Sox offered him 3 guaranteed and a 4th option, and that wasn’t good enough. From reading this article, it seems to me the Sox did everything they could to keep Bay, and he didn’t want to hear it. They took knee surgery off the table, they added more guaranteed years, and Bay felt insulted. I guess we’ll have to see if Bay can stay healthy for the Mets. If not, the Sox made the right moves yet again.

  10. The truth as I believe it to be was that the sox didnt want to go over the 170 mil luxury tax threshold..IMHO, I dont think Bay was worth 15mil per…But I do see a pattern of some sorts with Theo and players leaving the sox…all in all ,I could care less as long as he puts a championship team on the field..Good luck in NY JBay, your a class act..

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