By Jason Shetler
On Monday, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America put out their 2019 Hall of Fame ballot. Among the players who are on the ballot for the first time is former Pirates outfielder Jason Bay.
During the 2000 MLB Draft, the Montreal Expos chose Bay as a 22nd round selection. The native of Trail, British Columbia, Canada was sent to the New York Mets, before then being dealt to the San Diego Padres in 2002.
In late August of 2003, the Pirates traded All-Star outfielder Brian Giles to the Padres for a package that included Bay. Following the 2004 season, Bay was named National League Rookie of the Year, becoming the first and only Pirate in history to win the award.
After six seasons in Pittsburgh, Bay was traded to the Boston Red Sox as part of a three-team deal at the 2008 trade deadline. He had a strong year for the Red Sox in 2009, being named an All-Star and capturing a Silver Slugger. Prior to the 2010 season, Bay returned to the Mets on a four-year contract worth $66 million. The signing was a total bust, as Bay had nowhere near the same success as he did with Pittsburgh and Boston. His final MLB stint was with the Seattle Mariners in 2013.
Bay established himself as one of the better players in Pirates history. Aside from winning NL Rookie of the Year honors in 2004, he was an All-Star in both 2005 and 2006. Offensively, the 2005 campaign was the best of his career, as he put up 32 home runs, a 150 OPS+ and a 6.5 oWAR. Among Pirates players all-time, Bay has the ninth most home runs with 139, while his .890 OPS is sixth best in franchise history.