On Wednesday the New York Mets announced they have reached a mutual agreement with outfielder Jason Bay to terminate the final year of the free-agent contract he signed with them prior to the 2010 season, and grant the veteran his unconditional release. Terms of the agreement have not yet been made public, but it is believed much of what Bay will receive will come in deferred payments, very similar to a resolution the Mets once worked out with Bobby Bonilla.
Bay’s New York tenure began with such high expectations, and ended with him in all likelihood being remembered as one of the largest disappointments in the organization’s history. In 288 games as a Met, the three time all-star hit just .234 with 26 homeruns and 124 RBI’s in 986 official at-bats, capped by his woeful .165 batting average in 2012. Bay has struggled with injuries, headlined by multiple concussions, and had long fallen out of favor with the Citi Field faithful.
“I enjoyed my time in New York. I have no regrets in signing with the Mets, other than that I wasn’t able to play to the level that the team, the fans and I all expected…” – Jason Bay
Bay was due to earn $16 million in 2013, the final year of a four year/$66 million contract he signed with New York in December of 2009. While this settlement very well may pay the full remaining value of his deal, allowing the club to free up salary at the present time by using deferred payments will be greatly beneficial to the Mets, and give them increased roster flexibility heading into next month’s winter meetings.
The move should be equally beneficial to Bay himself, who looked visibly frustrated with his performance in Queens and his lack of confidence had grown obvious to his teammates, fans, and the opposition. Who knows, a fresh start with a new team could be exactly what he needs to someday recapture the form that made him one of the game’s most prolific right handed hitters in both Pittsburgh and Boston.