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Mets Willing to Spend. Who’s Willing to Accept?

We were trying to poke gentle fun at both the Negative Nellie Post and the woeful Mets in our post yesterday, but apparently only the Mets part came across. So we'll try again, less obliquely: We think the Post and the Mets are both very silly. The Mets look a little less silly today, though: As the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis closed up shop yesterday, the Mets made big huge offers to both Jason Bay and Bengie Molina. Will either take them up on it?

Let's take a look at each deal. These aren't official, on-record numbers, but what sources consider the likely offer:

Bengie Molina, two years, $12 million.
That's actually a "cap," the ceiling of what the Mets would pay the Giants catcher, which means they'd almost surely pay more. (After all, they must employ every catcher in baseball.) Molina tends to be a bit overrated as a hitter, mostly because the Giants were so poor offensively during his time there that they occasionally batted him fourth. On the whole, he's an average hitter and slightly above-average fielder, albeit one that will turn 36 in July, the first year of the supposed two-year deal. Still, worst case, the Mets do have plenty of backups.

Jason Bay, four years, $65 million.
This is only $5 million more than the deal Bay turned down from the Red Sox during the season, so you'd have to think the Mets could have to pay more than this. In fact, there's some speculation that this somewhat low-balled offer going public could have been a simple PR move: The Mets know Bay will want more than this, so when he turns them down, they can tell fans, "Hey, we tried." We still think Matt Holliday is a smarter play for the Mets than Bay, though if they could get him at this price, it would be worth it. But they won't get him for this price. One suspects they know it.

The verdict: The Mets will sign Molina, but not Bay, at least not until they bump up that offer. They won't, though, because Bay's not a catcher.

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