News: Mets will sign Jason Bay, per WFAN

Updated at 3:11 pm:

earlier today, i said the Mets and Jason Bay likely agreed to a four-year deal, worth around $16.5 million per season…

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the deal is for four-years, $66 million, but also contains an easily-attainable option for a fifth season.

Sherman says the physical might not be a formality, writing:

“There has been a lot of talk in the sport that the Red Sox were hesitant to do a long-term deal with Bay because they were concerned about the health of his shoulders.”

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com believes the vesting option could make the deal worth $80 million.

Updated at 2:26 pm:

…like i said before, word from people around bay has been that he is close to agreeing to a four-year deal… i’m glad to see the Mets did not give in to the fifth year… instead, it seems they goosed up the amount of money per season, from, say, $16 million, to, say, $16.5 million… i also believe the deal will be backloaded, with bay getting around $10 million in the first year, and close to $19 million per season in the final years of the contract…

…i still believe Matt Holliday will prove to be the better player, long-term… but, bay for four years is not bad… especially if it is actually backloaded and still allows the team to fill in with some role players, like i had been suggesting towards the end of last week

also, for what it’s worth, in talking with people close to bay, i never got the impression he was uninterested in signing with the Mets… i think that was just a logical conclusion for fans and reporters… in reality, he was simply trying to milk as much money as he could, with so little leverage… i mean, with the Cardinals the only other team looking to pay big bucks for an outfielder, bay’s only leverage was time, and hoping the Mets got antsy, or might cave in to public pressure… that was his only card, and so he used it…

…i don’t think it was personal, or for fear of playing in Queens… he was just trying to get paid as much as he could, using the only tool available to him: time

Original Post:

WFAN’s Mike Francesa says the Mets will announce the signing of free-agent OF Jason Bay early next week, assuming all goes well with his physical.

…from what i can gather, the deal will likely be for four years, and around $16.5 million…

…so, i guess that’s the news the team is hoping to break soon after the New Year, like i alluded to in the previous post…

He says free-agent C Bengie Molina is still holding out for a guaranteed, three-year deal, but the Mets have so far only offered a one-year contract with a vesting option.