It was on this day in 2009 that the Mets signed Jason Bay to a four-year, $66MM contract. The deal was almost immediately panned as one of the worst moves of the 2009-10 offseason and time has proven the critics right; Bay has hit just .251/.337/.386 in two injury-plagued years in New York.
Some news items as we head closer to 2012…
- Ryan Madson is "the loser of the offseason," writes Fangraphs' Eric Seidman. With no obvious teams still in need of a long-term closer, Seidman thinks Madson may have to settle for a one-year contract and try again for a multiyear deal next winter. 32.36% of MLBTR readers polled believe Madson will sign with the Angels, with just under 21% picking 'other' and 17.55% picking the Reds. Though LAA and Cincinnati have cheaper closing options in the fold already, they're also looking to win now. They'd both surely jump at Madson on a one-year deal and are probably Madson's only realistic suitors for a multiyear contract, though who knows what Scott Boras may yet pull out of his hat. (The 'other' voters clearly know all about Boras' relationship with the Mystery Team.)
- The Phillies aren't likely to bid on Yoenis Cespedes and Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer argues that Jorge Soler (the other intriguing Cuban outfield prospect on the market the winter) is also too unproven and expensive for the potential $20MM+ contract he could receive from a team.
- Also from Brookover, he lists Jonny Gomes and Scott Hairston as potential targets for the Phillies as the team looks for a fifth outfielder. If the Phils want to spend more to fill the spot, Brookover suggests Cody Ross and Ryan Ludwick.
- The Rangers' January 18 deadline for signing Yu Darvish is also the day the "logjam will break" for Prince Fielder, opines Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. If the Rangers can't sign Darvish, they "will be all over Fielder" to counter the Angels' signing of Albert Pujols.
- There are "roughly six teams that have shown consistent interest" in Wei-Yin Chen, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles are one, the Pirates presumably still another, and the other four are yet unknown.
- Also from Connolly's piece, he predicts Edwin Jackson will find at least a four-year contract on the free agent market and notes that while "Jackson's upside intrigues the Orioles," team management has shied away from that long a commitment to free agent pitchers in the past.
- Pirates closer (and MLBTR fan) Joel Hanrahan tells Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he doesn't expect to receive a long-term contract offer from the Bucs this winter. Hanrahan is projected to earn around $4MM this winter in his second trip through the arbitration process. He said the team hasn't made contact with him or his representatives yet about his 2012 contract, but this was also the case during his first taste of arbitration last year.