FanPost

Jason Bay and his vesting option (Part I)

As we all know, Jason Bay signed a contract in 2010 with the following parameters (per Cot’s):

§ 4 years/$66M (2010-13), plus 2014 option

§ signed by NY Mets as a free agent 1/5/10

§ $8.5M signing bonus

§ 10:$6.5M, 11:$16M, 12:$16M, 13:$16M, 14:$17M club option ($3M buyout)

§ 2014 option guaranteed with 600 PAs in 2013 or 500 PAs in both 2012, 2013

§ full no-trade clause

The beauty of this contract, of course, is the Omar Minaya standard vesting 5th year costing $17M, with Bay only needing 600 PAs in 2013 or 500 PAs in both 2012 and 2013. Thus, 2012 will prove a pivotal year in determining whether the option will vest or not.

Bay’s recent placement on the disabled list gave me cause for hope that Bay would not reach the 500 PA in 2012. That got me thinking: while I don’t want to root for anyone to get hurt (or stay hurt), how would Bay’s stint on the disabled list affect the vesting option? In addition, how would various return dates affect the vest? And finally, upon Bay’s return to the lineup, how would hitting in various placements in the batting order affect the vest?

Assumptions:

In putting together the data, I used the following assumptions:

· Bay went on the disabled list on April 24, which makes him eligible to return on May 9.

· If Bay returns to the lineup, he will start in approximately 95% of the games that the Mets have remaining. Bay will have only a few days off and will not make another disabled list trip. This assumption equates to 155 out of 162 games over the course of the full season, which I believe is reasonable to assume in a “worst case” scenario.

· Bay’s position in the batting order will be static in this analysis. I could easily change the data to include 20% batting 5th and 75% batting 6th and 5% batting 7th, but not for my preliminary purpose.

· Bay only gets plate appearances in games in which he starts. I believe this assumption is valid, as the effect of Bay not starting a game and entering later as a pinch hitter or defensive replacement is countered by the effect of Bay being removed for a double switch.

Currently, Bay has 57 plate appearances in 14 games. While I don’t believe his 3.8 PA/gm rate would continue, the 57 PA are constant and factored in to the analysis that follows.

Analysis:

The math is simple:

Total Plate Appearances = Mets Games Remaining upon return * .95 * PA/Gm + 57

I got the data for plate appearances by batting order from this site. To summarize, the number of plate appearances varies depending on the placement in the batting order and 2) whether the offense is “good,” “average” or “bad.” I have summarized the input data below.

Batting Order
Position

Total PA
“Good” Offense

PA/Game

Total PA
“Average” Offense

PA/Game

Total PA
“Poor” Offense

PA/Game

1

788

4.86

760

4.69

740

4.57

2

770

4.75

742

4.58

722

4.46

3

752

4.64

724

4.47

704

4.35

4

734

4.53

706

4.36

686

4.23

5

716

4.42

688

4.25

668

4.12

6

698

4.31

670

4.14

650

4.01

7

680

4.20

652

4.02

632

3.90

8

662

4.09

634

3.91

614

3.79

9

644

3.98

616

3.80

596

3.68

Plugging this data into our formula, we find the following:

Good Offense:

Date of return

Mets Games Remaining

Estimated Games Started

PA (1)

PA (2)

PA (3)

PA (4)

PA (5)

PA (6)

PA (7)

PA (8)

9-May

133

127

674.75

660.64

646.53

632.42

618.31

604.20

590.09

575.98

15-May

128

122

650.43

636.88

623.32

609.77

596.21

582.65

569.10

555.54

1-Jun

112

107

577.47

565.58

553.69

541.80

529.91

518.02

506.14

494.25

15-Jun

99

95

519.10

508.54

497.99

487.43

476.88

466.32

455.77

445.21

1-Jul

84

80

446.14

437.25

428.36

419.47

410.58

401.69

392.80

383.91

Average Offense:

Date of return

Mets Games Remaining

Estimated Games Started

PA (1)

PA (2)

PA (3)

PA (4)

PA (5)

PA (6)

PA (7)

PA (8)

9-May

133

127

652.80

638.69

624.58

610.47

596.36

582.25

568.14

554.02

15-May

128

122

629.35

615.79

602.23

588.68

575.12

561.57

548.01

534.46

1-Jun

112

107

558.98

547.09

535.20

523.31

511.42

499.53

487.64

475.75

15-Jun

99

95

502.68

492.12

481.57

471.01

460.46

449.90

439.35

428.79

1-Jul

84

80

432.31

423.42

414.53

405.64

396.75

387.86

378.98

370.09

Bad Offense:

Date of return

Mets Games Remaining

Estimated Games Started

PA (1)

PA (2)

PA (3)

PA (4)

PA (5)

PA (6)

PA (7)

PA (8)

9-May

133

127

637.12

623.01

608.90

594.79

580.68

566.57

552.46

538.35

15-May

128

122

614.28

600.73

587.17

573.62

560.06

546.51

532.95

519.40

1-Jun

112

107

545.77

533.88

521.99

510.10

498.21

486.32

474.43

462.54

15-Jun

99

95

490.95

480.40

469.84

459.28

448.73

438.17

427.62

417.06

1-Jul

84

80

422.43

413.54

404.65

395.77

386.88

377.99

369.10

360.21

Cells highlighted in Yellow represent scenarios where total PA are less than 500.

Conclusions:

· While Bay's recent placement on the disabled list helps in the quest to avoid the vesting option, any return during the month of May does not guarantee the vest doesn't occur.

· The longer Bay stays on the disabled list, the better the odds that the 2012 option won’t vest (duh).

· The lower Bay stays in the batting order, the better the odds that the 2012 option won’t vest (duh).

· The fewer games Bay starts upon his return, whether from days off, ineffective play or giving Nieuwenhuis more playing time, the better the odds that the 2012 option won’t vest (duh).

While these conclusions and the levers that affect Bay’s PA are common sense, this data gives a more detailed snapshot of where exactly Bay’s vest stands and how Terry Collins will need to creatively manage Bay’s playing time upon Bay's return to the lineup. I plan to do subsequent parts to this series at some point, and would be interested to hear if anyone has a specific request on areas to look at: I could do a more detailed analysis on batting order position, or playing time, or the Mets offense. Until that point, we can only wish for:

· Jason Bay to get healthy and come back to the lineup. But not until you’re fully ready, Jason. Take your time.

· Nieuwenhuis to keep hitting, and Torres and Duda to start hitting (particularly vs. left handed pitching).

· After Bay returns from the DL, the Mets win a ton of games by 2-1 scores. RA-men.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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