It’s official; the Seattle Mariners have signed free-agent Jason Bay to a one-year contract for $1,000,000. Bay, previously an outfielder for the New York Mets will receive $500,000 if he winds up dispatched to the minor leagues. Bay comes off a season where he batted .234/.318/.369 for the Mets. The Mariners plan to use Bay as a designated hitter option.
The 34-year old is hoping that signing with the Mariners will be the fresh start he needs. For the past three seasons, he has struggled with the Mets, including spending more than a full season’s worth of games out of the lineup due to injury. In the past season, he batted .165/.237/.299 with 215 at-bats, 8 home runs, and 20 RBI.
“I am glad we were able to put this together and bring Jason back to the Northwest to continue his baseball career. This is a good opportunity for Jason as well as the Seattle Mariners.” Jack Zduriencik said according to the official Mariners release statement. “Jason has a history of being a productive Major League player and has participated in postseason play. We look forward to adding his experience to our young group of players.”
“Jason is a gritty, talented player with a winning attitude,” said Mariners manager Eric Wedge in the same statement. “We know he has a passion for the game and we are looking forward to having him on the field whenw e get things going in a few months in Peoria.”
While Bay’s recent stats suggest he leaves something to be desired among ball players, historically Bay has been quite the sportsman. He is a three-time All-Star in the National League and American League – playing in 2005 and 2006 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and in 2009 with the Boston Red Sox. Over his career starting with the San Diego Padres in 2003, Jason Bay has a combined hit average of .269 with 211 home runs. In 2009 he brought home the American League Silver Slugger Award after a 151 game career high of 36 home runs and 119 RBI.
The hope is that the Seattle Mariners will add to their offense with this slugger. In order to make room for Bay on the team, left-handed pitcher Mauricio Robles has been designated for assignment, giving the mariners 8 more days to trade, release, or outright Robles to the minor leagues.
Given the decline in the past three years Bay experienced while playing for the Mets, and the weak defense he demonstrated, many fans are worried that this team member may not hold up his end of the bargain. It would be awesome to see Bay embrace the DH role and help propel the Mariners into a series of much-needed wins.
Do you think that Bay will perform well for the Mariners? Was this the right decision for the Seattle team to build up its team? Post your thoughts in the comments.