Jason Bay and the New York Mets ended their unproductive relationship after three miserable seasons when they agreed Wednesday to terminate the outfielder’s contract with one guaranteed season remaining.
The deal makes the 34-year-old former Gonzaga University and North Idaho College standout a free agent and allows the team to spread out the remaining $21 million it owes him.
“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 a statement released by the team.
After signing a $66 million, four-year deal before the 2010 season, the three-time All-Star hit .234 in three injury-plagued seasons with 26 homers and 124 RBIs, including a .165 average with eight homers and 20 RBIs this year. Sidelined by concussions and rib injuries, he played just 288 games for the Mets.
“I’m grateful we were able to reach an agreement to allow that to happen,” Bay said. “I’m excited to keep playing and have no intention of just walking away. 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.”
Bay was owed $16 million for next season and a $3 million buyout of a 2014 option, plus the final $2 million installment of his $8.5 million signing bonus was payable by next June. The agreement allows the Mets to spread out the payments.
“Jason has a tremendous work ethic. There was never any question about it,” Mets GM Sandy Alderson said “Unfortunately, the results weren’t there, and we are in a results-oriented business.”
An All-Star in 2005, 2006 and 2009, Bay signed with the Mets after hitting .267 in his final season for Boston with career bests of 36 homers and 119 RBIs.
Mariners building academy
The Seattle Mariners announced plans to build a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic serving players from Latin America.
The Mariners said they expected to complete the project near the end of 2013. The academy will be able to accommodate two full teams and staff. For the past decade, the Mariners have rented a facility in the Dominican Republic.
The facility will include two full-sized fields, other smaller practice fields and dormitory space for up to 80 players plus staff. It will be constructed near Boca Chica.
Clearing the bases
Walt Weiss, the 1988 A.L. Rookie of the Year, has been hired as manager of the Colorado Rockies. … The BBWA announced finalists for their awards, A.L. MVP: Detroit 3B Miguel Cabrera, Texas’ 3B Adrian Beltre and OF Josh Hamilton, New York 2B Robinson Cano and Los Angeles OF Mike Trout. N.L. MVP: Milwaukee OF Ryan Braun, San Diego 3B Chase Headley, Pittsburgh OF Andrew McCutchen, St. Louis C Yadier Molina and San Francisco C Buster Posey. A.L. Cy Young: Detroit RHP Justin Verlander, Tampa Bay LHP David Price and Los Angeles RHP Jered Weaver. N.L. Cy Young: New York RHP R.A. Dickey, Washington LHP Gio Gonzalez and Los Angeles LHP Clayton Kershaw. A.L. Rookie: Los Angeles OF Mike Trout, Oakland OF Yoenis Cespedes and Texas RHP Yu Darvish. N.L. Rookie: Washington OF Bryce Harper, Cincinnati 3B Todd Frazier and Arizona LHP Wade Miley. A.L. Manager: Chicago’s Robin Ventura, Oakland’s Bob Melvin and Baltimore’s Buck Showalter. N.L. Manager: Cincinnati’s Dusty Baker, San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy and Washington’s Davey Johnson. … San Diego Padres C Yasmani Grandal has been suspended 50 games because of a positive test for testosterone. … Mark McGwire was officially hired as hitting coach for the Dodgers. … MLB is considering a broader expansion of video review for umpires and a change to its longtime rule allowing active rosters to expand to 40 on Sept. 1. … A judge has sentenced former New York Yankees pitching prospect Brien Taylor to 38 months in prison after he plead guilty in August to distributing crack cocaine.