Sometimes relationships just don’t work out. Sometimes broken relationships can get expensive. Such was the case with the New York Mets and Jason Bay.
The two sides agreed to terminate Bay’s contract with one guaranteed season remaining. The deal makes Bay a free agent, and allows the team to spread out the $21 million it owes him.
Bay signed four-year, $66 million deal before the 2010 season. The three-time All-Star hit .234 in three injury-plagued seasons with 26 homers and 124 RBI, including a .165 average with eight homers and 20 RBI this year.
Sidelined by concussions and rib injuries, he played just 288 games during his tenure with the Mets.
‘‘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. Bay was an All-Star in 2005, 2006 and 2009. He hit a career-best 36 home runs in his final season ( 2009) for the Boston Red Sox. Reportedly, he would welcome a return to the Red Sox.
Bay could be an attractive option for many teams including smaller market teams in the American League like Tampa Bay, as he is not expected to command a big salary on the open market. Bay would likely sign a one-year “prove you can still play” type of contract to re-establish himself.