The Red Sox have a lot on their plate these days, including a weekend matchup with the Yankees in the Bronx and an erratic rotation heading into the postseason. However, there's an offseason storm brewing, and it features one of the game's most coveted free-agents-to-be: Jason Bay.
Bay has less than a month remaining in his final contract year with the Red Sox, who are likely to duke it out with other MLB heavy-hitting general managers in an all-out effort to sign the left fielder.
However, Bay isn't the only option available when it comes to free agents who can platoon the Green Monster's shadows in 2010. Another able body who could fill this role besides Bay is Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday.
But despite his impressive stats and accolades, Holliday isn't the answer, according to former Red Sox hurler Curt Schilling. The answer, Schilling says, is right under Theo Epstein's nose.
"You take the thing you know," Schilling told WEEI on Thursday. "[Bay's] proven he can play in October. He?s proven he can play in this market. He?s a guy fans, you have to see him day in and day out, which is weird to say about a guy who hits 30-100, but he does it in a very workmanlike fashion."
Bay is having a career year for the local nine, with 98 runs scored, 115 RBIs and 36 homers to go with a reasonable .267 batting average. The 29-year-old Holliday has been tearing the cover off the ball this summer with both the A's and Cards and owns a .312 average, 24 homers, 104 RBIs and 91 runs.
"The guy is a stud," Schil added, refering to Bay, "and for the next four to five years, you can have him patrolling left field."
Schilling believes teams like the Yankees are going to shell out sacks of loot for the 31-year-old Bay, meaning the Red Sox will be forced to break the bank should they want to keep the All-Star.
"I think it?s going to come down to one thing, and I think that?s going to be years," Schilling said." I don?t think, whatever the Red Sox? offer, that anyone is going to go $5 million a year more for a four-year deal. Somebody is going to throw that extra year in. It?s where the Yankees always win. It?s not about $1 million a year here or there. It?s about the $15-18 million for a year at the end of that contract. The Yankees are always comfortable putting that extra year on because they know it?s a trump card they can play and no one else can."