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Bay, Red Sox ‘table’ extension discussions

03.15.09 at 10:41 am ET

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said that, after substantive conversations with outfielder Jason Bay (and his representatives) about the possibility of a contract extension this spring, the two sides have concluded that an agreement is not possible at this time. The Sox and Bay will disengage from discussions for the rest of the spring, though the two sides remain open to resuming conversations over the course of the season.

The reason for the inability to come to an agreement was a dramatically changing market for the services of power-hitting corner outfielders. This offseason, that market seemed to collapse, with players such as Pat Burrell (two years, $16 million), Adam Dunn (two years, $20 million) and Bobby Abreu (one year, $5 million) all getting much less than the market would have suggested in past offseasons.

Bay is entering the final year of a four-year, $18.25 million deal he signed with the Pirates before the 2006 season. He is due to receive $7.5 million for the coming year.

Bay, a career, .282 hitter with a .375 OBP and .516 OBP, performed almost exactly to those numbers with the Red Sox after being traded to Boston last July 31. The 30-year-old hit .293/.370/.527 with the Sox during the regular season, then hit .341/.471/.634 in the playoffs.

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