Bay says the offers he’s been getting lately (through early July, when he was still hitting well) are better than talks/offers during Spring Training. Still, they’re not good enough from his point-of-view. And who can blame him for not signing a multi-year extension now? Bay certainly won’t get Manny money ($20 million per year) but he likely wants to play a full year plus possible postseason in Boston to fully gauge his true value to the Red Sox. And whatever that value turns out to be, the Sox should have the big money and smarts to keep Bay in the “Bay State,” whenever talks eventually restart.
No, Jason Bay is not Manny Ramirez, production-wise, but despite recent struggles, he is a stabilizing, powerful force in the heart of the Sox lineup, sound defensively, and an all-around good teammate, something you could not say about Manny as he left town. If Epstein and the Sox learn any lessons from the past (Johnny Damon), they will not undervalue the services of Jason Bay and lose him to another team.
* - UPDATE: Tim Wakefield will not make his scheduled start on Wednesday as the Red Sox placed him on the 15-day DL today for lower back strain. Clay Buchholz won't have to wait long for his next big league start after all, as he has been called up to take Wake's place in the rotation, starting tomorrow.