Jason Bay to Get $21 Million By End of 2015

By Matt Musico

Last week, we heard the glorious news that the Mets and Jason Bay had reached a mutual agreement to grant him his unconditional release. New York is still on the hook for the $21 million he’s owed in his contract, but instead of just cutting him and being forced to pay that full amount by the end of the 2013 season, the two sides agreed to defer some of it, giving the Mets some more financial flexibility for this winter. Jon Heyman got word from a source that Bay will be receiving all of the money he’s owed over the next two years.

So, this will not end up being a Bobby Bonillasituation, who is still getting payments from the Mets thanks to deferred payments from the deal he signed with New York back in the ’90s. Ultimately, this ends up benefiting Bay, since he will only lose $850K off the present-day value of the $21 million he’s due to earn. Heyman said neither party would publicly comment on the deferment agreement, but it’s believed these payments will be coming to the former New York outfielder in five installments through the end of 2015.

September 4, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets left fielder Jason Bay (44) hits an infield single against the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

When details of Bay’s release hit the news waves last week, Sandy Alderson said while the deferment does give New York some financial flexibility for this winter, it didn’t mean they would have the ability to go after big name free agents like Josh Hamilton or B.J. Upton. Since details have not been released, we can only speculate how much Bay will be receiving this season as compared to next season.

There was just no way he would be able to recapture the magic in Flushing next season if he stayed. Coaches and teammates said last week how much he desperately wanted to perform, putting a lot of pressure on himself to succeed, which at the end of the day, probably led to his .165/.237/.299 line with 8 homers and 20 RBI in 2012. He’s better off signing with another team and getting a fresh start, while the Amazins are better off letting him go and cutting their losses.

Although it was tough to watch Jason walk to the plate during the last three seasons, he was the epitome of being a professional and played the game the way it was supposed to be played. He was a role model for younger players, as he had to answer questions from the media nightly about how much he’s struggling. There was not one time he lost his cool. So, I think it’s only right that Bay gets his payments sooner rather than later, and the details of this agreement shows a mutual respect between both parties. Plus, New York won’t have to keep sending checks to him 20 years from now like they are doing for Bonilla.