Theo Epstein has two rings, while Omar Minaya's job is on the line this year. So if Theo is willing to let Jason Bay go, it must be because Theo knows what he's doing and Omar is throwing money away, right?
Five years ago, the Red Sox allowed another over-30, potentially injury-prone star, Pedro Martinez, to leave Boston for the Mets. Pedro only gave the Mets 1 1/2 good seasons out of a four-year contract. Theo turned out to be justified for refusing to offer a similar long-term deal.
But I would argue that Omar was also justified in signing Pedro. The move revitalized the franchise and made the Mets an attractive destination for players such as Carlos Beltran. Pedro made the All-Star team in each of his first two seasons with the Mets. With his help, a team that had won 71 games in 2004 won 83 in 2005 and 97 in 2006.
Still, in terms of evaluating Pedro's long-term value, Theo was a lot more accurate than Omar.
We will not know for a few years which GM has more accurately valued Jason Bay. But despite their track records, Omar might come out ahead this time. After all, Theo has underestimated a departing star before. Johnny Damon was still going strong at the conclusion of his four-year Yankee deal, helping the Bombers win the title.
Letting Damon go worked out for the Red Sox, who were able to get younger and cheaper with Jacoby Ellsbury and won another title.
But as of now, the Red Sox look a lot weaker without Bay in their lineup.
After the 2003 season, Vladimir Guerrero was a free agent. But the Mets failed to sign him, even though he was available at a comparative discount, Instead, the Mets went for a much cheaper alternative - Mike Cameron.
This time, it's the Red Sox who have turned to Cameron as the cheaper alternative. And the Mets have the run producer they needed.