As good a day as yesterday was for the Yankees, it was just as bad for the Mets. They had been hoping to grab John Lackey, and they had certainly not been hoping Roy Halladay would end up in Philadelphia. Both those things happened, though, and the news that the Cardinals offered a massive contract to Matt Holliday didn't help, either. As Mike Silva puts it, it's looking like Jason Bay or bust.
The Mets and Bay appear to be in the same corner, which can't be a happy place for Bay to be. It does seem that $16 million might be the going rate — assuming Holliday's $16 million is bumped up a tad, as Scott Boras will surely insist on — and five years about right for Bay. Are the Mets willing to pay that? At this point, do they have a choice? If they don't sign Bay, they're looking at an off-season of Bengie Molina, Chris Coste, and Carlos Monasterios. If you think that will be enough to save Omar Minaya's job, you are wrong.
The reason the Mets aren't getting players isn't just money, though. John Harper in the Daily News brings the pain, via a quote from an anonymous general manager:
"Halladay wasn't going to the Mets," the GM said. "His people were letting everyone know he was only going to a winner — the Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, or maybe the Angels, although he wanted to be in the East because he lives in Florida.
"The problem for the Mets is that after everything that happened to them last year — the injuries, the record, the front office controversies — they're just not very appealing to star players who have choices."
This is not to say you shouldn't buy a Carlos Monasterios jersey. This is just to say that the Mets are about to seriously overpay Jason Bay.