Mets could look to replace struggling Bay in left during season

New York Mets left-fielder Jason Bay is turning in the worst Spring of his career, which is not surprising to fans who have become to associate the 33-year-old’s performance in Queens with career lows.  After an 0-3 performance against the Tigers on Sunday Bay’s Grapefruit League average has dipped below the Mendoza line, sitting at an icy .195.

What’s more, there is no power to speak as Bay remains without a home run or even an RBI in 26 Spring AB’s.  Perhaps such a dismal month of March would be easier to stomach had it not followed two horrendous seasons turned in by a player the team shelled out $66 million prior to the 2010 season.  That, however, is the reality of where things stand and while the team may not be able to change the production they get from Bay, they may be able to change the production they get from left field in general.  Such a move, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post, is no longer off the table.

Photo by Michael G. Baron

Jason Bay won’t lose his starting job this week or likely even this month, but it doesn’t mean the Mets left fielder is untouchable.

Though the idea has not yet reached the discussion stage among team executives, a club official yesterday floated the possibility that if Bay is struggling six or seven weeks into the season, the Mets could explore other options, including a platoon in left.

Bay is still owed $32 million over the next two seasons. His contract also carries a vesting option worth $17 million for 2014 based on plate appearances.

Two other Mets officials yesterday said it’s still too early to seriously worry about Bay.”

Photo by Michael G. Baron

Puma goes on to mention Kirk Nieuwenhuis as a potential replacement should the Mets make a move, though I think it would really depend on where the team was in the standings.  If they manage to prove their pundits wrong and are in playoff contention at the break, bringing in some outside help may certainly be a direction the front office leans.  Let’s not forget, by limiting Bay’s at-bats, they can get out from underneath that ugly vesting option in 2014, so patience is not something I expect the Metsecutives to exercise much longer.

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