I don't think the Sox would jump at the chance to sign him for 15 a year. The highest paid member of the team is Drew at 14 million a year and he's a better player than Bay. In fact, there are several players on the team who are better than him who aren't making nearly as much. Of course, most of them weren't signed as free agents, but I would be quite surprised if the Red Sox thought they would be getting a deal by signing him at 15 million a year.
As an aside, I think it's really impressive that a team as competitive as the Red Sox isn't paying anyone more than 14 million per season.
OK, poking around the internet it looks like the most specific rumors out there during the failed negotiations last off season and this season were that the Sox were talking Adam Dunn money ($10M/yr) and Bay wasn't interested, so maybe they never went to $15M.
Still, I agree with Bowler in this past thread
. If you could lock up Bay (or Holliday) for JD Drew's contract, you'd be doing well, at least if signing one of the two is your major priority. And Bowler was making that point before they both hit FA. I will be surprised, given that both guys will be receiving serious attention from multiple teams (at least the Sox/MFY/Cards, probably others) if either winds up settling for less than 5/70.
IIRC, Teixeira's contract was way, way bigger than where SoSH was setting it last offseason, although I haven't found that thread.
PS: IE< despite the market correction last off-season for Abreu, Dunn, & Burrell, there was no correction for the guys the MFY signed or the Sox bid on. It seems if you are an elite FA you get paid. If you are a hair below that, you get paid alot less. Of course, Fangraphs has Bay's "value" at 13M last season and 15M this, so maybe paying full retail for Bay is in the 14-15M range... SO maybe that's where he'll sign as an FA, and not above it. Still, I will be shocked if he winds up having to take less than 5/70, and I suspect that the only way that will happen is if the one of the Sox/MFY snag Holliday, and the other does something creative to fill FA (ie an expected trade), Abreu signs with the LAAAA, and Bay is the only one left w/o a chair when the music stops so has to take 4/50 from the Cards...
Edited by Todd Benzinger, 29 October 2009 - 09:19 AM.