No matter how you spin it, the time Jason Bay spent as a member of the New York Mets was a tremendous disappointment. Bay and the team have parted ways despite a minimum of one year and $21 million remaining on his contract.
Some of the $21 millon owed to Bay will be deferred which will give the Mets some cash to spend this winter. Bay had signed a four year deal with the Mets prior to 2010 worth $66 million.
“Jason is a great teammate, hard worker, stand-up guy, and true gentleman,” Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. “Like Jason, we had planned for the kind of production here that he enjoyed in Boston and Pittsburgh, where he established himself as one of the game’s top players. We wish Jason and his family success and happiness in the future.”
Those are lofty words for a player who managed to hit just .234 with 26 home runs in 288 games for the Mets during his three years on the team. Bay lost his starting job in left-field this year and would have been an over priced bat on the bench.
Prior to arriving in Flushing, Bay was a three-time All-Star, averaging 31 home runs per year from 2005-09 with the Pirates and Red Sox.
Bay believes that resolving his contract with the Mets will give him an opportunity elsewhere. Any opportunity will likely have to come from a sprint training invite.
“I still feel I have plenty to give to this game and that I can play baseball at a high level,” Bay said in a statement. “But after serious consideration, both sides agree that we would benefit from a fresh start. I’m grateful we were able to reach an agreement to allow that to happen. I’m excited to keep playing and have no intention of just walking away.”
“I enjoyed my time in New York,” his statement continued. “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 and that we weren’t able to win more games. I move on with nothing but an appreciation for the organization and its fans and best wishes to all my teammates there.”
The terms of Bay’s release have yet to be disclosed by the Mets but it has been said that Bay will receive his $16 million salary for 2013 as well as the $3 million buyout for 2014. The Mets also owe Bay $2 million as part of his signing bonus.
One Met official described the deal as the best thing for both sides.
The move likely was the best for both sides. Bay’s numbers constantly declined as a member of the Mets in nearly all offensive categories. His inability to stay healthy and contract have made him an easy target for disgruntled fans and members of the front office.
Bay broke a rib in a game on April 23 against the San Fransisco Giants when he attempted to make a diving catch.
The Canadian born Bay began his major league career with San Diego before being traded to Pittsburgh. After five plus seasons as a member of the Pirates he was traded to Boston at the 2008 trade deadline. In 10 seasons Bay is a career .269 hitter with 211 home runs and 734 RBI. Bay has not appeared in more then 123 games since 2008.