Kudos to Cardinals GM John Mozeliak for his candor. He told the St. Louis Post Dispatch on Tuesday that Matt Holliday is his priority and that Jason Bay, for now, is not on his radar.
The Red Sox lose their exclusive rights to negotiate with Bay on at 12 a.m. on Friday. For some, the arrival of his deadline will be greeted with alarm. But I think it will help speed up the process of returning Bay to left field in Boston.
Bay and agent Joe Urbon could learn fairly quickly that the offer the Red Sox have on the table is the best they're going to get. Bay is certainly one of the premier free agents on the market. But the market will remain depressed for free agents.
Players across the game were rattled last winter when Bobby Abreu was stuck with a one-year, $5 million deal from the Angels after overestimating his value. Bay is younger and better in some regards. But he's not the kind of player teams build their future around.
For teams that place a high value on a player's ability to prevent runs, Bay will be less attractive given his lack of range.
But Bay likes the Sox and the Sox like him. After a few weeks of seeing what is — and is not — out there, he may like them a whole lot more.
Terry Francona put it well today during his paid spot on WEEI:
"You have to be patient. As fans, as the manager, you want things to happen now. We want to have our team in place now. It’s not going to happen. It’s going to take time. He has earned the right to be a free agent. This is his first time, and he wants to see it through. You know we’re going to be a major player. We always are. Do I hope it gets done? Yeah. I bet you Jason Bay hopes it gets done. But he’s going to have other options, too."
George King of the New York Post reported today that the Red Sox asked the Braves for the medical records of relievers Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano. Both are free agents and pitched well last season.
Congrats to Mike Scioscia of the Angels, the American League manager of the year. Ron Gardenhire was second and Joe Girardi third. I would have voted for Ron Washington of Texas. How that team won 87 games remains a mystery.