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Keeping him at Bay: Phils might want to consider Mets cast-off in left field

Bay struggled in three seasons in Queens, but could thrive at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies have at least four big holes to fill, including two spots in the outfield, a third baseman and a setup guy. The problem is that the Phillies can't spend a fortune to cover each of those voids.

Considering how much money is already committed for next season, the Phillies need to find a diamond in the rough to help out in 2013.

The Mets bought out Jason Bay making the most disappointing free agent acquisition in the franchise's history available. Bay hit just .234 with 26 homers with 124 RBIs in three forgettable seasons. Bay hit a pathetic .165 last season. He was that bad.

But before arriving in Queens, Bay hit 36 homers and drove in 119, with a .921 OPS for the Red Sox in 2009. Bay was an All-Star in four of his previous five seasons.

But something happened to Bay. Did he feel the pressure of signing a $65 million contract in the media capital of the world? Did Bay have trouble moving from the friendly confines of Fenway Park to cavernous Citi Field?

Maybe the Phillies should invite Bay and his once potent right-handed bat to spring training to possibly fill a void in left field?

"Why not," a NL scout said. "He won't cost you anything. It would definitely be a low-risk, high-reward situation. Who knows why he failed in New York. He got hurt but his work ethic was there. If there is still something there, it would be interesting to see what he could do in that ballpark [Citizens Bank Park]."

Bay issued a statement indicating that he has some gas in the tank.

"I still have plenty to give this game," Bay said. "I'm excited to keep playing and have no intention of just walking away."

Bay, a model citizen, could benefit from a change in scenery and the opportunity to work with hitting guru Charlie Manuel, a skipper who loves to repair broken swings.

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