Mets, Jason Bay agree to part ways

11/07/2012 3:08 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
The New York Mets announced in a statement Wednesday that they have reached an agreement with outfielder Jason Bay to terminate his contract, granting Bay unconditional free agency.

Financial terms were not disclosed in the statement, but insider Jon Heyman reports that Bay will receive all $21 million he is technically owed – the $16 million salary he was set to receive in 2013, a $3 million buyout on the 2014 option year in his contract, and the $2 million remaining of the $8.5 million signing bonus he was given upon inking his four-year, $66 million deal with the Mets in January 2010.

The move ends Bay’s disappointing tenure with the Mets, one that saw him miss significant time due to various injuries and put up numbers far below his career averages.

"I still feel I have plenty to give to this game and that I can play baseball at a high level. But after serious consideration, both sides agree that we would benefit from a fresh start," Bay said in the team-issued statement. "I'm grateful we were able to reach an agreement to allow that to happen."

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, who is in California for the annual GM meetings, said in the statement that "Jason has a tremendous work ethic. There was never any question about it. Unfortunately, the results weren't there and we are in a results-oriented business. We thank Jason for his efforts and wish him well."

Alderson’s predecessor, Omar Minaya, signed the now-34-year-old Bay after he had put up a .267-36-119 line in 2009 for Boston. However, Bay, a career .269 hitter who had averaged 30 home runs and 99 RBI in his previous six full seasons, hit just .234 with 26 home runs and 124 RBI total in three injury-filled seasons with the Mets, and played in 100 games just once.

Bay suffered a concussion running into the wall in 2010 and appeared in only 95 games, then was limited to 123 games in 2011 and 70 games in 2012 thanks to a pair of rib injuries. Prior to joining the Mets, he had played in less than 145 games just once in his career – his rookie year of 2004, when he was called up by the Pirates in May and hit .282-26-82 over 120 games en route to being named NL Rookie of the Year.

Now, after three forgettable years in Queens, he will try to recapture that form elsewhere.

"I'm excited to keep playing and have no intention of just walking away," Bay said. "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 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."

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