The three-way deal that sent Manny to Hollywood landed Jason Bay in Boston, where he would be the Red Sox left fielder in his only full season with the team. Despite an All-Star season in 2009, the Red Sox let Bay leave in free agency, which turned out to be the right choice given how his career crumbled immediately after signing a lucrative deal with the New York Mets.
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Bay smashed a career-high 36 home runs and produced a .921 OPS in his only full season in Boston, but after he left he never cracked more than a dozen long balls or reached an OPS of .750 over the final four injury-plagued seasons of his career. Bay was excellent in Boston, but the team dodged a bullet when they decided to pass on re-signing him.
2010 opened with Jacoby Ellsbury in left field, pushed aside from his natural center field position by the more defensive minded Mike Cameron. Ellsbury would return to primarily playing in center, but was limited to only 18 games that season after a collision with teammate Adrian Beltre resulted in cracked ribs. The Red Sox cycled through a number of forgettable replacement options before Daniel Nava claimed the role in the second half of the season.
Nava wouldn’t be given the chance to reclaim the starting spot the following season, and instead spent all of 2011 in the minors. The Red Sox thought they had cured their left field woes when they signed Carl Crawford to a lucrative 7-year deal, only to watch him become a colossal bust.