Bay’s deal announced; Robles DFA’d to make room
The Mariners made it official on Saturday, announcing the signing of free-agent outfielder Jason Bay to a one-year deal and designating left-handed pitcher Mauricio Robles for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
No, this won’t be the last move the Mariners make this offseason. It’s a low-risk deal, giving Bay a chance to see if he can revive his career in Seattle. Bay was one of the better slugging outfielders in the Majors from 2004-09 and if he can rediscover any part of that, the Mariners will have made a good move.
If they don’t see anything this spring, it’s a $500,000 guaranteed contract, with another $500,000 if he makes the club out of Spring Training and a potential $2 million in incentives if he does well. So, again, not a big risk.
The upside potential is giving a shot to a guy who averaged 29 home runs and 99 RBIs a year from 2004-09 with Pittsburgh and Boston and had a career-high 36 bombs and 119 RBis in 2009 when he was an AL Silver Slugger award winner for the Red Sox.
Bay hit 21 or more homers in six straight years, including four seasons of 30-plus home runs, 100-plus RBIs and 100-plus runs, before joining the Mets. He hit .306 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 14 playoff games with the Red Sox and also batted .467 in five World Baseball Games for Canada in 2006 and ’09.
So, yeah, at his peak he was big time. Now 34 and having dealt with a couple concussion problems and three trying years in New York, who knows? But it’s worth finding out.
The Mets still owe Bay $21 million, so he’s not in this for the money. He’s looking for a chance to show what he can still do and maybe, just maybe, he’ll relax and play ball now that he’s out from under the pressure of the $66 million deal he had with the Mets.
“I am glad we were able to put this together and bring Jason back to the Northwest to continue his baseball career,” said Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik. “This is a good opportunity for Jason as well as the Seattle Mariners. Jason has a history of being a productive Major League player and has participated in postseason play. We look forward to adding his experience to our young group of players.”
As for Robles, he’s yet to reach the Majors after being acquired in 2009 along with Luke French in a midseason trade with the Tigers for Jarrod Washburn. The Mariners will have 10 days to trade, release or assign him to the Minors. They’ve always liked his arm, but he’s struggled to stay healthy and throw strikes, so it’s not a big surprise he’s being moved off the 40-man.
I’ll have more coming on Mariners.com.