Everybody’s known about it, but Jason Bay officially returned to the Mets organization with a four-year, $66 million contract with a vesting option for a fifth year. Bay played with the Port St. Lucie and Binghamton minor league clubs in 2002.
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The official release is below:
FLUSHING, N.Y., January 5, 2010 – The New York Mets today announced that they have signed outfielder Jason Bay to a four-year contract with a vesting option for a fifth year.
Bay hit .267 with a career-high 36 home runs, 119 RBI, and scored 103 runs with the Boston Red Sox in 2009. It was his second consecutive season of at least 30 home runs, 100 RBI, and 100 runs.
Bay, 31, was second in the American League in RBI and tied for third in home runs last season. Among major league outfielders, Bay finished with the most RBI, tied for first in home runs with the Phillies’ Jayson Werth, and was third with a .537 slugging percentage and a .921 OPS.
The right-handed hitter ranked among the league leaders in runs, extra-base hits (68), and batting average with runners in scoring position (.360). The 2009 AL Silver Slugger has averaged more than 30 home runs and 99 RBI over his six full major league seasons.
“Jason provides us with a big bat in the middle of our lineup, which will help us score more runs,” said Mets General Manager Omar Minaya. “He has pull power and that will play well at Citi Field. Jason has excelled in a big-city environment, and we look forward to adding his winning attitude and grit to our clubhouse.”
“It’s exciting for me to come to New York to join Carlos Beltran, David Wright, and Jose Reyes in the lineup to help the Mets get back to the postseason,” said Bay. “I’m looking forward to returning to the National League and playing at Citi Field in front of passionate fans who care about winning.”
Bay led the AL last season with 15 outfield assists and did not make an error in 325 total chances. Bay has played 184 errorless games in the field since August 17, 2008, a span of 385 total chances without an error.
The 6-2, 205-pound native of Trail, British Columbia, Canada, last season was named to his third All-Star team (2009, 2006, 2005) with more than 4 million votes, the most of any AL outfielder.
The 2004 National League Rookie of the Year with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bay was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in 2000. He spent 2002 with the Mets organization, splitting time between St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League and Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League.
In his major league career with Boston, Pittsburgh, and San Diego, he has a lifetime .280 batting average with 193 doubles, 23 triples, 185 home runs, and 610 RBI in 922 games. In 14 postseason games, he has batted .306 with three home runs, and nine RBI.