Everything I've read seems to point to an outfield of Bay, Pagan and Duda from left to right for 2012. So going from right to left, here is what I see:
Obviously Duda has yet to prove he can play every day. However since June 22, he is hitting .318/.384/.530 with 4 home runs and 24 rbi in 45 games. OK, it's only 132 at bats, but 14 walks against 20 K and the other numbers are solid. Moreover, all four of his homers have come in the last 21 games as his playing time has become more steady. Of course you can do anything will small samples. However, between 2010 and 2011, in AA and AAA, he had 33 homers and 111 rbi in 153 games (27 of those in AAA), so I think it's reasonable to think that a 25 home run season is possible for Duda in the majors. If we're assuming that Duda has the inside track to play right field in 2012, why isn't he playing there now? To get Jason Pridie more at bats? Shouldn't he be in right and get Nick Evans in at 1B?
The general opinion seems to be that Pagan needs to find his 2010 mojo or risk Captain Kirk or Fernando perhaps overtaking him at some point next year. However, since coming off the DL in late May, Pagan has hit .278/.337/.404 with 5 homers and 20 steals (in 24 tries) over 270 at bats in 69 games. Passable at least, and with some insurnace via internal options, I feel we're OK in center. If Pagan could put those numbers up over a full season, 10 homers and 40 steals would certainly be acceptable.
I'd suggest that the Mets try to put Bay through waivers if they haven't already and see if anyone is foolish enough to believe he has re-discovered his pre-Mets form. For those laboring under the impression that Citi Field has gotten into Bay's head, here are his home/road splits over the last two seasons: Home - .273/.360/.435, Road - .237/.316/.339. If we can get someone like the Giants, Rangers or Red Sox to take him and his salary off our hands, I say do it now. If we get rid of Bay, who will play left? Obviously Fernando is a possibility. Could Zach Lutz move to the outfield? I'm sure I don't want Murphy out there. If internal options don't look solid, $16mil from Bay should give us ability to get a free agent, however the list there is rather thin after Beltran: Cody Ross, Ryan Ludwick, Coco Crisp, Josh Willingham, Jason Kubel. I'd suggest that any of these guys would be an upgrade over Bay in terms of production for pay and they're all younger than him. Over the last five seasons, Ross has averaged 2.1 WAR, Ludwick 2.6, Crisp 2.6, Willingham 2.4, Kubel 1.3 (over three seasons), and Bay 2.0. (All those averages include 2011 YTD.) Of these guys, Crisp has the best recent trend with 3.3 WAR last year and 2.4 so far this year, though he comes with a "high injury risk" warning label. My point is, Bay turns 33 in September. He may be a nice guy and all, but I've seen enough. If we can't get some team to take him on waivers this fall, let's figure out a way to get him off the team before next year.