Breaking down Bay’s deal, plus other contract news

BayMediaAs has been reported, Jason Bay signed with the Mariners for one year at $1 million in base salary, with $500,000 guaranteed and the other $500,000 coming if he makes the team out of Spring Training.

What hasn’t been broken down before is the potential $2 million in incentives also included in the deal. Turns out, those incentives strictly come down to playing time, or more specifically, to the number of plate appearances Bay receives in the coming season.

He’ll get an additional $250,000 if he hits 350 plate appearances, then another $250,000 if he reaches 375, 400 and 425. After that, it’s an extra $200,000 for reaching 450, 475, 500, 525 and 550 plate appearances.

As a point of reference, last year Bay totaled 215 plate appearances when he played just 70 games for the Mets. In 2011, he had 509 plate appearances in 123 games. In 2010, he had 401 PAs in 95 games after missing the final two months with a concussion.

From 2005-09, when Bay was healthy and ripping off some big-time production, he never had fewer than 531 plate appearances in a season. If he manages to get back to that level and be an every-day player for the Mariners, he could thus earn close to $3 million. And I’m sure the Mariners would be thrilled if that were the case.

For Bay, this is all on top of the nearly $21 million in deferred money he’s still owed by the Mets after they released him with one year still remaining on his four-year deal with them.

While we’re talking contracts:

— When infielder Robert Andino went right down to the non-tender deadline two weeks ago before signing a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, he would up signing for $1.6 million in base salary, plus a potential $200,000 more if he reaches his own plate-appearance levels from 400-575.

Andino earned $1.3 million the previous year with the Orioles in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

— Reliever Josh Kinney also signed a one-year deal to avoid arbitration at the non-tender deadline. His contract is for $700,000 if he’s on the Major League club. Kinney played for the Major League minimum of $490,000 last season.

1 Comment

$1.6 million seems like a lot of money for a utility player. He’s comparable to Luis Rodriguez, who is a switch hitter, or if you want to go younger and with more upside, Carlos Triunfel.

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