As expected, the Seattle Mariners signed an outfielder this offseason. He just happens to be an outfielder who provides questionable upside but is none-the-less part of the mix for next year. The name Jason Bay might ring a bell for some of you. He played for the Pirates, Red Sox, and Mets and gained a reputation as a power/speed outfielder. The last few years, he has dealt with a number of injuries including a serious concussion and a bad back leaving him a shell of his former self.
His role with the Mariners will probably be limited to part-time duty in left field or right field. Being right-handed, he will probably play against lefties. The problem is, the Mariners already have someone who can fill those roles and is five years younger, Casper Wells. My best guess is that the Mariners will have Bay in Spring Training to see if he has anything left in the tank and to push the other outfielders in a pseudo-competition. Best-case scenario, Bay shows he’s healthy and able to hit, worst-case, he’s released at the end of Spring Training.
Let’s take a look at the projected stats for Jason Bay and Casper Wells while we’re at it.
|Jason Bay (OF)|
|Casper Wells (OF)|
A quick look at the numbers shows that both Jason Bay and Casper Wells are fairly similar players. High strikeout, power bats, who know how to take a walk or two. However, Casper Wells can play all three of the outfield positions well; Bay only provides minimal value in left field. Maybe Jason Bay surprises all of us during Spring Training but I just don’t see this producing any meaningful value for the Mariners next year.