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Bay agreed to deal back on Christmas

01.03.10 at 8:32 pm ET

All of those Red Sox fans hoping to get a late holiday gift in the form of the return of Jason Bay didn’t stand a chance.

According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, free agent outfielder Jason Bay agreed to his deal with the Mets on Christmas Day, four days before it was initially reported.

The agreement is for four years and $66 million with a vesting fifth-year option that could bring the total to more than $80 million. While the financial figures for the deal was slightly more than the Mets’ original offer to Bay, the option year was in the proposal from the outset.

A team source with the Red Sox had told WEEI.com that in the days leading up to Christmas the Sox were internally discussing adjusting their organizational budget to potentially take another run at Bay — with the price for the outfielder thought be be coming down — but never reached the point of topping the Mets’ offer.

Four days before Christmas Mets’ GM Omar Minaya was quoted by New York Sports Day at the ninth annual “21 Days of Clemente”, an event honoring the late Roberto Clemente, as saying, “We are pursuing Matt Holliday. It seems to be easier to make a deal for Jason Bay.” Bay will undergo his physical in New York Monday.

Alex Speier contributed to this report


Speier: Why the Deal Made Sense for Both Bay and the Mets

Speier: Bay, Mets, Minaya Come Full Circle

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