Logic is good. Logic is what keeps you from hitting on the gal with the adam’s apple in the smokey dive bar.
Raw emotion can be good, but it’s also what will tell you to take a chance "because that might not be an adam’s apple at all -- it might just be the beginnings of a goiter -- so how do you know until you investigate after eight more drinks?" Fear that raw, base emotion.
Logic says Jason Bay, fine hitter that he is, is going to be overpaid. A lot of his value is given right back on defense, he’s over 30, and he isn’t likely to age gracefully. Maybe he’ll ease into his mid- and late-30s like a healthy Moises Alou. Logic says that it would be silly to pay close to $100M to find out.
Then the raw emotion takes over. Bay’s asking price is now floating around 4/$70M, which is almost the kind of contract a team can work around. He’d replace Eugenio Velez, so it’s an addition by subtraction even before it’s an addition by addition. Bay is a real hitter – he gets "on base" and hits balls for "extra bases" if you believe the myths – and he’d sure be a fine addition to the lineup. And, heck, the Giants have a strikeout staff, so do they really need a great left fielder?
Fight those feelings. The logic is sound. Even if you’re a UZR skeptic , Bay’s defensive reputation doesn’t improve when you disregard the statistics in favor of fan-based scouting reports. By all accounts, Bay is a lousy fielder. How lousy? Lousy enough to hurt his overall value in a big way, and he isn’t getting younger and more agile.
But Bay! In the middle of the lineup! And then you do one of those CHECK OUT MY LINEUP things after you furiously rosterbate:
C – Posey
3B – Sanchez
LF – Bay
1B – Sandoval
2B – Uggla (Doug Clark and Jake Esteves to the Marlins)
RF – Bowker
CF – Rowand
SS – Renteria
By gum, that looks like a real lineup. I’m in!
Wait, would this mean that the Giants would really have to count on Bay performing at a decent level until 2013? Uh, I’m out.
On-base percentage! Walks! I’m in! Nuts to the future; it’d be nice to win next year, and, hey, even with the bad defense, FanGraphs has him as a three-win, $14M-worthy player.
Gee, it’s so strange to be so conflicted about a player, knowing that there’s no way he’ll be a good investment, but still kind of curious to see him play for the Giants. I wonder if this has ever happened before?
No Bay. Please, no. That’d be a combined $410M spent on Zito, Rowand, and Bay every year, none of whom will be good in two years. That’s just a guess, and your mileage may vary. But no Bay.
If the Giants do sign him, it'll be pretty cool to watch a team with real hitters next year, though.