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Jason Bay Benched By Mets, Maybe Theo Epstein Was Right?

It's starting to look like Theo Epstein and company were on the mark when it came to their decision to reduce their offer in free agency for Jason Bay, who ultimately signed a long-term deal with the Mets.

Bay was benched by manager Terry Collins on Sunday after his inconsistency at the plate all season long.

Yet this Bay isn't the same one that Epstein essentially turned away in free agency. At the time, Bay was coming off of a year in which he hit 36 home runs and drove in a career-high 119 RBI, although he posted a .267 batting average. The thought process at the time was simple - how on earth do you let this guy walk?

Well, Theo did, and the Red Sox are better off for it.

The reason? Bay had a physical done with the Red Sox towards the end of the 2009 season that showed that his knees and shoulders were not in great condition. Upon learning the news, Epstein pulled his four-year contract offer off the table?

Epstein didn't remove every offer, though, putting forth a two-year deal worth $15 million per season with options for the third and fourth years based on Bay's health. In the end, Bay decided to grab the Mets more lucrative four-year, $66 million deal.

Many fans did not agree with Epstein's decision when it was made, but looking back, he did the right thing.

In his first two seasons with the Mets, Bay has done nothing but disappoint. In 2010, Bay finished with a lousy 259 batting average, six home runs and 47 RBI. Bay only played in 95 games after suffering from various injuries.

This season hasn't been any better, with Bay hitting. 216 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 37 games.

Looking back, it seems that Epstein saw something that we didn't - Bay's injuries would lead to inconsistency and decreased value. He hit the nail on the head.

If Epstein had chosen to re-sign Bay, the Sox wouldn't have had a need for Carl Crawford, who should prove to be a much better acquisition than Bay in the long run.