Jason Bay close to one-year deal with Mariners

Outfielder Jason Bay, who was released this offseason by the Mets with $21 million still owed on his contract, was close Wednesday to agreeing to a one-year Major League contract with the Mariners.

No deal has been announced by the Mariners and financial terms are not known, though a source indicated it would be for less than $1 million.

Mariners manager Eric Wedge said Bay could be an interesting addition to a team with a young roster that is looking to add a couple veteran hitters.

“He’s a guy we’ve been talking to, but nothing is done yet,” Wedge said. “It’s an interesting story, an interesting situation. If you are able to make it happen, you’ve got to feel good about taking a chance on a guy that has been a great performer at times at the big-league level.

“He has some strength with the right-handed bat, he’s a high-character guy, a hard-worker, great personality. He’s had a tough couple years. If it does come through for us, I think it’s a great pickup.”

Bay, 34, lives in Kirkland, Wash., not far from Seattle, and played his college ball at Gonzaga University. He averaged 27 home runs and 99 RBIs over a six-year run with the Red Sox and Pirates, but those numbers dropped dramatically after signing a four-year, $66 million deal with the Mets in 2010.

He hit .234 with 26 home runs and 124 RBIs in three seasons with the Mets, including a .165 average with eight homers and 20 RBIs in 70 games last year.

Wedge said if the deal works out, Bay would be looked at as an outfielder and designated hitter.

Bay and the Mets came to an agreement to end his contract about a month ago, with Bay due to receive his final $21 million in deferred payments in exchange for free agency.

The buyout included an agreement that the money he received in any new deal would be separate from the Mets’ remaining $21 million, so they’ll still owe him that full amount.

Bay would join a Mariners team looking for increased offense after finishing last in the American League in scoring for three straight years. General manager Jack Zduriencik said Tuesday he could possibly sign two outfielders and Bay figures to be the first of that pair at a minimal salary, with the Mariners still having money to pursue Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn or add a veteran via trade.

Bay, a three-time All-Star and 2004 National League Rookie of the Year, would be given a chance to revive his career in Seattle much like former Mets pitcher Oliver Perez, who signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners last year and wound up rebounding with a solid season as a left-hander in the bullpen.

9 Comments

Finally we make a BIG free agent pick up and get that middle of the lineup bat to fill seats and smash homers to left

um this guy’s not a big free agent pick up. he’s like a jack cust. we will see if it works out

I was being extremely sarcastic!!!

it’s only a million bucks……and that’s where “comeback player of the year” comes from…….he’ll be gone if he doesn’t produce in the Spring

Been a long time mariners fan but its coming to an end it’s obvious this team does not want to contend . This is the big move this winter is signing Jason Bay ….really , if I was a season ticket holder I would throw in the towel … This is a sad move ..The mariners have been in a nose five for awhile and have seen the biggest drop off in professional sports history ..if you want to keep the seats full then you have to spend some money and get some big name players and win …. This is not rocket science …. Mariners need to do something big or put another losing season on the board before it even starts … Come on Jack ….

KC gave up Myers and Odorizzi both studs for Sheilds and others!!!! We couldn’t get that done. Now we’ ll over pay for Hamilton and gets guys past their prime. #notwinningbaseball

But Bay is better than nothing

Really, the Mets cut him , they would rather pay him to stay home …..

Over pay for Hamilton have you not been watching the last couple of years …. We don’t have any hitters , you could take one of Hamiltons arms away and he would still out hit Anyone we have now ……you have to bring in big name players …. That will put people in the seats ……..

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