The Mets reached an agreement with outfielder Jason Bay and pending a physical will make the announcement next week. The news has been confirmed by other news outlets.
The deal is $66 million over four years with a vesting option for a fifth year that would bring the total value of the package to $80 million.
It had been widely speculated Bay did not want to play for the Mets and used them to drive up the price with Boston. The Red Sox, after signing John Lackey, seemingly pulled out of the Bay negotiating, but two days before Christmas reappeared as pursuers.
The sticking point was Bay wanting a fifth year, but the Mets held steadfast to their position of four years. The Red Sox cut off negotiations based on this stance. There were multiple reports coming out of Boston the Red Sox were concerned to the point where they believed the 31-year-old Bay would eventually have to be switched to DH by the end of his contract.
Bay hit 36 homers with 119 RBI and will add pop to a line-up that produced 95 homers last year. Bay gives the Mets the left field power bat the team coveted, but they still have holes with their rotation.
Here’s a look at potentially the Mets’ order for 2010:
SS Jose Reyes
2B Luis Castillo
CF Carlos Beltran
LF Jason Bay
3B David Wright
RF Jeff Francoeur
1B Daniel Murphy
C Omir Santos
P Johan Santana (and four question marks)
While Bay is an obvious upgrade to the offense, there remain numerous holes in the Mets’ rotation. The Mets finished fourth without Bay last season and can finish fourth with him in 2010 if they don’t upgrade the rotation, which includes:
1) Johan Santana coming off surgery.
2) Mike Pelfrey taking a step back.
3) John Maine coming off surgery.
4) Oliver Perez coming off surgery and trying to overcome his inconsistent past.
5) Who knows who will be the fifth starter?