No one is going to pay Jason Bay $21M a year, are they?

Jon Heyman has an early free-agent preview. In it he asks an unnamed agent and an unnamed GM to guess how much everyone will get. Interesting reading, but some of these predictions seem a couple bubbles off plumb. Here’s Matt Holliday (the “me” is Heyman’s guess):

Agent: $147 million, 7 years.
GM: $80 million, 5 years.
Me: $120 million, 7 years.

And here’s Bay:

Agent: $147 million, 7 years.
GM: $60 million, 4 years.
Me: $80 million, 5 years.

The agent — whose identity is an utter mystery — is pretty far out there on these in my view, as I can’t feature anyone paying thirtysomething left fielders $20M+ a year. Surprisingly, however, he isn’t too far out of line with the other guys on most of the other players. Well, he has someone giving Miguel Tejada a three year, $30M deal, and I just don’t see that happening.

In any event, it’s a good debate starter.

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  1. Jason B said...

    Snicker-worthy guesses include:

    Heyman’s guess of 1 year/$10 million for Billy Wagner (guffaw-inducing); his guess of 2 years, $20M for Marco Scutaro (gut-busting); and the agent’s guess of 2 years, $30M for Vlad in a DH-heavy market(titter-worthy).

  2. Bill @ the daily something said...

    Yes, Holliday is more valuable than Bay…defense matters.

    Wow…they could name Scutaro’s mom GM of some well-off team somewhere, and I don’t think she’d offer Scutaro 2/$20.

  3. Jason B said...

    Last offseason I think we saw the impact of the soft economy on the second and third-tier free agents, and I’m not so sure that trend won’t continue this year.  Sure, Holliday and lackey may get theirs, but will someone really shell out $10 mil per for Jon Garland’s “adequate but by no means noteworthy” services?  The crazy contracts for (comparatively) lesser-talent innings eaters like Silva, Arroyo, and Washburn have dried up to some extent, methinks.

    (Of course, it only takes one crazed GM to bid against no one in particular and throw some cringe-inducing offer out there. Particularly if his last name rhymes with ‘fine dinner’.)

  4. J. McCann said...

    Scutaro (D-fens and OBP) and Wagner (K/9 when healthy) are going to get paid.  I would bet Wagner actually gets a 2+ year deal.

    I can’t see Bay going to anyone other than the Red Sox.

    Holliday should get a real nice contract from a NL team, but is too risky for an AL team to pay big dollars.

  5. APBA Guy said...

    I think the decline in 2nd tier free agent contract spending is real, and will adversely affect Scutaro’s deal, among others.

    Much of the first tier deals will be driven by three things:

    - how many teams are truly bidding on a player
    – are the Yankees and Red Sox bidding against each other
    – if not, are either the Yankees and Red Sox bidding against other teams for a player

    Remember on the Texeira deal last year, there were 3 AL East teams bidding actively and 1 NL East team bidding. Two of those teams were the Red Sox and Yankees. With all that plus Texeira’s skill set, the price went to $ 20M/yr.

    So depending on the answers to the questions above Bay and or Holliday could get really significant money, or have to settle for less than what Boras wants.

    Bay is at .919 OPS today,
    Holliday .911
    Texeira .934

    Holliday has the negative of his relatively poor play at Oakland, while Bay’s defense is not great.

    Texeira had none of those issues.

    My guess is that both outfielders end up with something like Torii Hunter’s deal, around $ 90M for 5 years. Bay stays in the AL and Holliday in the NL.

  6. Rally said...

    “Texeira had none of those issues.”

    But he had his own issue, he’s only a 1B.  Has to be worth something to be able to play the OF.  A good 1B probably does have a bit more defensive value than a bad LF like Bay, but Tex is way under Holliday on defense.

  7. george said...

    Under normal circumstances, maybe Bay gets something like Hunter did, but the economy is not sufficiently different, baseball-wise, where I can see him getting much more than 15MM/yr.

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