It wasn’t that long ago when former Pirates, Red Sox, Mets, and Mariners (whew) outfielder Jason Bay slugged 30+ home runs in 4 out of 5 seasons, but the “mighty” have fallen in a big way in recent seasons. With that, there is a report that Bay could be heading to Japan in order to continue his baseball career.
Hearing that former #Mariner Jason Bay might be headed to Japan to play with Yomiuri Giants.
— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) December 10, 2013
Greg Johns’ initial report that Bay could be signing with the Yomiuri Giants has now been confirmed by multiple outlets, but no final agreement has been reached at this time. The 35-year-old outfielder struggled mightily in Seattle during the 2013 season, hitting just .204/.298/.393 with 11 home runs in 236 plate appearances. In truth, that type of power production, on its own, would be just fine, but Bay’s “hit tool” has gone by the wayside drastically in recent years, culminating in back-to-back years with a negative fWAR.
In his prime, Bay was a 4-to-6 win player in Pittsburgh and Boston, but those skills just don’t seem to be there anymore for him. His last good season was in 2009 with the Red Sox when he hit 36 home runs while driving in and scoring 100+ runs each, but the wheels flew off shortly after he signed a 4-year, $66 million contract with the Mets.
It’s a bit hard for me to believe that Bay wouldn’t have a single MLB offer in hand, but at 35 years old with visibly declining skills, it may be more beneficial to him to take guaranteed money overseas rather than grinding in the U.S. on a minor-league deal. Stay tuned.