Pending a physical, Mets to sign Jason Bay

According to WFAN’s Mike Francesca, the Mets have signed free agent outfielder Jason Bay. Pending on a physical, the former Pirate and Red Sox will be heading back to the NL.

From the New York Daily News:

WFAN’s Mike Francesca just reported that the Mets will have an announcement early next week that they’ve agreed to a contract with Bay, one of the top free agent hitters on the market. The deal will become official if Bay passes the physical, Francesa said.

The Mets have a four-year offer out to Bay worth about $65 million.

Francesa also reported that the Mets and free agent catcher Bengie Molina remain apart on a potential contract. The Mets have offered one year plus a vesting option, but Molina is holding with a demand for a three-year deal.

This isn’t a bad deal for the Mets financially. Bay hit .267 with 36 home runs, 119 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 531 at-bats last season and isn’t bad defensively. He’ll give the Mets’ lineup durability and some much-needed pop.

That said, this is the Mets that we’re talking about here. Some how, some way, they always manage to add talent and miss the playoffs. This was a solid signing, but they need to get Jose Reyes and a slew of other players healthy so they don’t collapse again next season.

On a semi-related note, Bengie Molina needs a reality check. The only reason he was a cleanup hitter last year is because the Giants were so devoid of offensive talent outside of Pablo Sandoval. Molina is a fine player and a good clubhouse guy, but at his age he’s not going to find a club willing to give him a three-year deal.

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Report: Four teams left in Jason Bay sweepstakes speculates that there are four teams remaining in the Jason Bay sweepstakes this winter.

But an official of one interested club believes that four teams remain involved in the bidding: the Mets, Mariners, Giants and Angels.

And while the Yankees are signaling that they’re not in on Bay — or Matt Holliday, or Johnny Damon — they have been known to shift course rapidly at this time of year.

One source believes the Mariners are attempting to clear payroll in order to make a late push for Bay. But one rival executive doubts Seattle would sign Bay for more than one or two years, since prospects Michael Saunders and Dustin Ackley are candidates to play left field in the long term.

The Angels haven’t ruled themselves out, either. They have watched their own free agents, Chone Figgins and John Lackey, sign elsewhere.

As for the Giants? One person familiar with the organization’s plans said today that it’s “not impossible” to envision them signing Bay or Matt Holliday.

Of the four clubs, the Mariners might make the most sense because Bay grew up north of Seattle and might want to play closer to home. But will they clear enough pay roll in time to scoop him up?

The Mets aren’t afraid to open their wallets, but who knows if they’re be an attractive enough option for Bay in the end. The same goes for the Giants, although I don’t see them spending enough in order to acquire Bay and there have been several reports that state that he doesn’t want to play in San Francisco.

The wild card is the Yankees, who are never out of a deal with their capless payroll. Even though rumor has it that they don’t want to exceed $200 million for their payroll, they’ll stop at nothing to add talent.

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Mets pursuing Bay, Holliday

According to, the Mets have “tweaked” their offer to free agent Jason Bay to give him a possible five-year alternative and have jumped into the race for Matt Holliday.

Mets GM Omar Minaya and Bay’s agent, Joe Urbon, spoke at length on Tuesday. Minaya is thought to have signaled a willingness to go to a five-year deal (at slightly lower dollars per year than the original four-year offer for close to $65 million), but with Bay still believed to be seeking a six-year deal from them, the Mets apparently have decided to dip back in on Holliday. The Mets, who are now believed willing to go to about $75 million for five for Bay, originally concentrated on Bay in the hope that they might be able to sign him quicker.

Minaya is expected to talk to Holliday’s agent, Scott Boras, as soon as Wednesday. Mets people suggest there could be a trade option to fill their offensive gap, but it appears that Bay and Holliday are their two top targets to enhance their power. also reports that the Mets are trying to wrap up a deal with catcher Bengie Molina, but that talks are at a standstill because Molina wants a three-year deal for as much as $20 million. But New York is only willing to do two years at $10 million for the 35-year-old backstop.

What’s interesting about’s report regarding Bay is that ESPN’s Buster Olney says the Mets are currently at four years for the former Red Sox (not five) and that the club isn’t actively involved in the Holliday sweepstakes.

Cardinals offer Matt Holliday a formal contract

The St. Louis Cardinals officially offered free agent outfielder Matt Holliday a contract according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The article states that St. Louis expects to hear back from Holliday within the next 48 hours and that the Cardinals might move on “the middle of next week” if the free agent doesn’t accept their offer.

While Holliday is a much-needed presence in the Cards’ lineup, it’s important for the club and GM John Mozeliak to move in another direction if the outfielder can’t make a quick decision. The financial terms of the offer haven’t been released, but chances are it’s a fair deal for market value. I doubt the Cards would waste their or Holliday’s time with a lowball offer.

If Holliday doesn’t sign, it’ll be interesting to see if the Cardinals make a run at Jason Bay, although it would be tough for St. Louis to match an offer from the Red Sox or Mariners. (There’s a rumor floating around that Bay wants to play for the M’s because Seattle is close to his home.)

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Report: Bay wants to be a Mariner

According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, free agent outfielder Jason Bay wants to be a Seattle Mariner next season.

I’m hearing that Bay has been telling his former Pirates teammates he’d stand on his head and sing on E. Martinez Way to play for M’s.

The rumor would make sense given that Bay is from British Columbia, which is a Canadian province north of Seattle. A deal would make sense for both sides given the M’s lack of offensive firepower.

That said, if the Red Sox truly want him back than they’ll easily outbid Seattle for Bay’s services. The free agent will have to weigh the prospect of playing closer to home against the financial gains that he’ll receive if he re-ups with the BoSox.

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