via (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America)
Yes, I know what you're thinking, but let's keep an open mind here.
After Jason Bay signed his four-year, $66M contract with the Mets, many people felt that it was an overpay. It's easier to look back and say that now, but at the time some people saw this a great move for the Mets. During his days in Queens, two things were consistent for Jason Bay: The struggle to live up to his contract and injuries. In three seasons with the Mets, he played a total of 288 games. Given the injuries and a lack of confidence Jason Bay never really had a chance to flourish with New York.
Now, why am I suggesting the Braves take a chance on Bay?
Well, it's quite simple: He'd be a classic case of the "low risk" signing. I can't see Jason Bay signing for much more than a few million dollars. He's currently in the same situation as Nate McLouth found himself before the 2012 season, but we all saw the impact Nate made on the Orioles.
The Braves currently have an abundance of left-handed hitters and Jason Bay at worst, could give the Braves a decent right-handed off the bench or in a platoon situation. Even with his struggles, he has still posted a .246/.355/.401 slash line against left-handers. He may not be the 30+ home run threat he used to be, but his .355 on-base percentage against LHP would help create run scoring opportunities for other hitters in the lineup.
There's another argument to be made about Jason Bay. Many people think that playing at Fenway Park was the reason behind his success and that Citi Field "ruined" him. I don't think that's entirely true. Let's just take a look at his career splits at Fenway vs those at Citi Field.
At Fenway: .270/.402/.513 .914 OPS. In 108 games, he hit 18 HR and had 80 RBI's and added on 27 doubles.
At Citi Field: .256/.342/.408 .750 OPS. In 134 games, he hit 11 HR and had 61 RBI's and 25 doubles.
Using the OPS scale, he essentially went from a "Great" hitter to an "Average" hitter. There's no question that Citi Field took away some of his power, but he still posted decent a decent on-base percentage. His ISO from 2004-2009 was consistently in the .240-.260 range, but with the Mets, it was never over .144. It's easy to see why because his slugging percentage dropped off as well, but he could still bring value to a team.
If the Braves could keep a guy like Eric Hinske on the roster for an entire season, why not take a chance on Jason Bay? If he doesn't play up to par, you cut your losses and move on.
It will be interesting to see where Jason Bay lands, but I think he could be a good fit in Atlanta.