Deferred payments to Jason Bay to be made by 2015

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says the deferred payment plan the Mets made with Jason Bay is to be completed by the end of the 2015 season.

The Mets also agreed to waive the $850,000 off-set provision, according to Heyman, meaning Bay will earn the full $21 million he is owed plus whatever he can earn in a new contract with another team.

Last week, the team announced they had parted ways with Bay, a full year before the end of his guaranteed contract was to expire. He was to earn $16 million in 2013 as part of a four-year, $66 million deal he signed before the 2010 season. The team held a $17 million option for 2014 with a $3 million buyout, but Bay was also owed $2 million as part of an $8.5 million signing bonus.

In 288 games with the Mets since 2010, Bay hit .234 with just 26 home runs and 124 RBI in 986 at-bats.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

OK, but, we still don’t know how much money the Mets defer off this year’s payroll, or how much additional money they might add to their available budget for 2013. Sandy Alderson has intimated to reporters that it is not much, instead saying the move mostly provides ‘mental relief.’ Heyman’s report made me think, maybe, all $15 million would be paid after 2013, meaning just $6 million is due in 2013, which would essentially save the Mets $10 million on this year’s budget. But, re-read it, and he never actually says when or how those payments start or space out, just that it all must be paid by 2015.

That said, I had heard last week that the Mets save no more than $2 million this season, but that was a more or less an educated guess. If that’s the case, why not just pay the full amount now and be done with it? What advantage does it give the Mets to only open up $2 million, which no one is even convinced they’ll spend anyway? If Alderson is so focused on 2014 and beyond, why add Bay to those payrolls when he didn’t have to be – all to save $2 million now? That doesn’t make a lot of sense, to me, unless I’m missing something here…

Michael Baron, Contributor

As I said last week, this is a huge pill to swallow, and it’s not unexpected Bay stands to benefit in this deal. But it was necessary and when evaluating the value of the roster spot Bay was taking, the Mets will likely be able to find equal if not higher value than the $850,000 extra they are paying Bay to not be here. They were basically playing with 24 players on the roster with him, and that alone was a handicap for them, not to mention when they were playing with other guys who were day-to-day and were limited in their ability to contribute. It was step one in a long process of getting better, and even though the Mets may not be getting much salary relief (even though Sandy Alderson said the restructuring of Bay’s deal might give them a tad more flexibility), they get roster relief, and that is an important benefit for this team.

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