The other night on Prime Time Sports (I know, I know…), as the topic of Alex Rios’s departure was being discussed, Bob McCown made a passing, un-followed-up remark about the possibility of the Jays making an offseason trade: Financial Flexibility in exchange for Jason Bay. My frenzied internal monologue fired up almost immediately, whereupon my idea for this printed back-and-forth was born (or, I flipped channels and stole “Formidable Opponent” from Stephen Colbert, either way…)
From a dumbly simplistic patriotic point of view, it sure would be cool to have a legitimate Canadian superstar playing for the Jays. By that, you mean a recently-anointed dual citizen, whose family clearly isn’t too perturbed about the prospect of living south of the 49. Either way, the man’s an all-star and did represent us at the WBC. So, what, Scott Richmond isn’t a legitimate Canadian superstar? Then why did they “save” him for that all-or-nothing matchup against the Venezuelans, which never happened? Too soon, jerk, too soon. In seriousness, Bay has said he’d welcome a move to the Jays at some point. Yeah, that’s when he played for the Pirates, numbnuts. I’m sure he would have welcomed a move to the Sioux City Gonorrhea Peddlers if it could have gotten him out of Pittsburgh.
There has to be some appeal to him about playing in his home country, though. Uh, maybe, but it’s probably not as strong as the appeal of winning baseball games, and the possibility of winning the World Series — which, as you’ve noticed, is something the Red Sox can offer him much more readily than the Jays can. Fine, but there’s no guarantee that Boston will necessarily keep him around. They’ve given up on trying to negotiate a long-term deal this season, and Bay is set to hit the open market at the end of 2009. I clicked your link, smarty pants. Sounds like Bay’s perfectly content to stick around in Boston if they’ll give him what he thinks is fair market value.
Well, what is fair market value for Bay? He’s making $7.5 million and is on pace for 30/100, but he’s sitting on a .253 average and .881 OPS. Sitting on? As opposed to Rios’s lofty .264 average and eye-roll-inducing .744 OPS? All for the low, low price of $9.5 million? I think it’s safe to say Bay’s in line for a raise, and if the Jays had any chance of luring him away, they’d essentially need to blow all of the Rios and Rolen cash, which would still leave them without… well… a whole lot of things. But they’d put asses in seats! Imagine the marketing potential! People wouldn’t worry about how many games the Jays were out of the wild card race, they’d flock to see their Canadian hero! How gullible and stupid do you think Toronto sports fans are?
Do I really need to answer that? No, no you don’t.