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Mad Em-Dashes is a St. Louis Cardinals blog by Dan Moore that does not want to waste your time. 

Jason Bay and safe alternatives

Sportsnet.ca: Jason Bay's up-and-down-career comes to an end

“I haven’t filed papers or anything yet, but I don’t really see a scenario where I would play this year or beyond, really,” the 35-year-old from Trail, B.C., told sportsnet.ca Saturday. “I had some offers, and an offer to play in Japan, actually, which could be fun for a life experience. I talked to Kevin Youkilis who’s doing it, but taking the whole family over there defeats the purpose of being at home and doing the family thing.

“The writing has been on the wall, I just haven’t made it official, per se. This is probably the end of the road.”

I am a naturally risk-averse person, which is the current clinically accepted term for "yellow-bellied coward what oughtn't be seen 'round these parts any longer," and my instinct is always to find the middle ground between not doing anything and going all-in, which are both brave courses of action in their own way.

In the 2009 offseason Jason Bay was the Safe Alternative to Matt Holliday. He signed a four year, $66 million contract with the New York Mets about a month before the Cardinals locked Holliday up for seven years and $120 million.

Over the life of the contract he hit .229 and played 100 games once. After 2012 the Mets decided to just eat the final year of his safe deal.

Once you blow something like this up into an abstraction you start seeing it everywhere—in drafting an expensive high-upside bat who's also a polished college hitter, for instance—in ways that aren't necessarily predictive or even very telling. But Jason Bay has left me permanently gunshy about transactions that leave everybody kind of satisfied.