Pending a physical, Mets to sign Jason Bay

According to WFAN’s Mike Francesca, the Mets have signed free agent outfielder Jason Bay. Pending on a physical, the former Pirate and Red Sox will be heading back to the NL.

From the New York Daily News:

WFAN’s Mike Francesca just reported that the Mets will have an announcement early next week that they’ve agreed to a contract with Bay, one of the top free agent hitters on the market. The deal will become official if Bay passes the physical, Francesa said.

The Mets have a four-year offer out to Bay worth about $65 million.

Francesa also reported that the Mets and free agent catcher Bengie Molina remain apart on a potential contract. The Mets have offered one year plus a vesting option, but Molina is holding with a demand for a three-year deal.

This isn’t a bad deal for the Mets financially. Bay hit .267 with 36 home runs, 119 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 531 at-bats last season and isn’t bad defensively. He’ll give the Mets’ lineup durability and some much-needed pop.

That said, this is the Mets that we’re talking about here. Some how, some way, they always manage to add talent and miss the playoffs. This was a solid signing, but they need to get Jose Reyes and a slew of other players healthy so they don’t collapse again next season.

On a semi-related note, Bengie Molina needs a reality check. The only reason he was a cleanup hitter last year is because the Giants were so devoid of offensive talent outside of Pablo Sandoval. Molina is a fine player and a good clubhouse guy, but at his age he’s not going to find a club willing to give him a three-year deal.

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Damon to the Giants? You must be kidding me.

There’s a horrifying rumor making its way around the web that Johnny Damon could be heading to San Francisco now that his time in New York appears to be finished.

Now, some people might be thinking, “Hey, Damon can hit and the Giants need hitters sooooooooooooooo…it’s a perfect fit!”

But no. I mean seriously: No. (No.)

Johnny Damon and his chicken wing would be a horrible fit in San Francisco and if Giants GM Brian Sabean goes for this then he should be forced to give tours on Alcatraz for the rest of his life.

Sabean is notorious for overspending on the wrong players. Outside of a respectable 2009 campaign, Barry Zito and his mega-million dollar contract has been nothing short of a disaster. Aaron Rowand has been a great defender and a solid clubhouse guy, but he can’t hit and therefore, can’t live up to his contract either. Sabean is also the genius that overpaid for Edgar Renteria (yet another player that has no concept of a decent batting average) last winter.

Yeah, Damon can hit. He also has the worst arm in baseball and fails to reach the cutoff man on a consistent basis. He would no doubt cost the Giants’ pitching staff runs based on his shoddy fielding and there’s no guarantee that he would even produce as a hitter in spacious AT&T Park.

Hopefully this rumor is just that: A rumor. Damon belongs in the American League as a DH. He’s half a player in the NL and a quarter of a player in a pitcher’s ballpark. Maybe the Red Sox could use him as a piñata or something, but keep him out of San Fran.

Red Sox “working hard” to obtain Adrian Gonzalez

Even after the signings of free agents John Lackey and Mike Cameron, the Red Sox aren’t satisfied this winter. According to FOX, the BoSox are “working hard” to obtain Adrian Gonzalez in a trade with the Padres.

The addition of Lackey will give the Red Sox the flexibility to trade right-hander Clay Buchholz, who likely would be the centerpiece of any package for Gonzalez. Likewise, the addition of Cameron will give them the flexibility to trade outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

The Padres would be tempted to move Gonzalez if they could get Buchholz and Ellsbury in the same deal, sources say. However, the Red Sox would be very reluctant to include both, according to another source.

A separate person familiar with Boston’s position said the team is becoming comfortable with the idea of trading Buchholz. But the source expressed doubt that the Red Sox would include outfielder Ryan Westmoreland or pitcher Casey Kelly in the deal; at present, the Padres are trying to obtain one of the two high-level prospects.

This is a deal that may never happen because Boston won’t part with the necessary pieces in order to acquire a big bat like Gonzo. San Diego wants pitching and top-level prospects so that they can compete in a few years. Plus, Gonzo is a fan favorite so they’re not going to trade him without getting a haul in return.

Boston better be ready to part with a couple of key prospects if they want the San Diego slugger.

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Cardinals offer Holliday eight-year deal

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have offered free agent outfielder Matt Holliday an eight-year contract worth roughly $16 million per year.

With the Cardinals increasingly impatient to reach a resolution, sources familiar with the talks believe it possible Holliday could reach a verdict before Christmas.

The New York Yankees may represent the most dangerous variable to the Cardinals. Previously insistent that they are not interested in entering bidding for Holliday, they could be enticed to enter at the eleventh hour.

The Yankees pose as another club’s biggest challenge when it comes to signing free agents – there’s a shock.

It’s hard to believe that Holliday would receive a better offer than the $16-million per-year deal the Cardinals just put on the table. But knowing Scott Boras (Holliday’s agent), he’ll be looking for one.

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Phillies land Halladay, trade Lee to Mariners in blockbuster deal

According to a report by, the Phillies have agreed to a trade that will send Roy Halladay to Philadelphia and Cliff Lee to the Mariners.

The Phillies are in agreement on a three-team trade with the Mariners and Blue Jays to acquire star pitcher Roy Halladay, has learned. All indications are that Cliff Lee will likely be heading from Philadelphia to Seattle in the trade.

Sources say Halladay will agree to a contract extension to complete the deal. It’s expected to be a formality, and though terms are not yet clear, it’s expected to be worked out in the next couple days. Halladay wanted to be in Philadelphia, as the Phillies train in Clearwater, Fla., not far from his offseason home.

The Phillies are giving up prospects to Toronto to get Halladay, but it isn’t known yet which players are in the deal. Philadelphia, which would also get prospects from Seattle, is trying to keep its payroll at around $140 million.

At first glance, I’m shocked that the Phillies traded Lee away in order to complete this deal. He was dominating in the postseason, posting a perfect 4-0 record and a 1.56 ERA in five starts. But both he and Halladay are in their last year of their contracts and if Philadelphia can only pay for one, they might as well go with the guy that they can lock up long term – especially if that player is Halladay. There was no guarantee that Lee would re-sign with Philadelphia.

With their pitching staff now set (Lee and Felix Hernandez form one hell of a 1-2 combo), the Mariners must be gearing up to make a run and I wouldn’t be surprised if they wound up signing Jason Bay sometime this offseason to boost their offense.

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