Mets, Jason Bay agree to 'part ways'

Jason Bay's disappointing stint in New York is over. (US Presswire)

After three tumultuous years with the Mets, Jason Bay is a free agent. On Wednesday the team announced the two sides "agreed to part ways."

Bay is getting all of the $21 million he was owed ($16 million for 2013, a $3-million buyout for 2014 and $2 million left on a signing bonus), Insider Jon Heyman reports. Some of the payment is deferred, freeing up some money for the Mets this offseason. Sources tell senior writer Danny Knobler that the deferral is over a relatively short period of time, meaning it won't linger on the team's books like Bobby Bonilla's contract.

The 34-year-old signed a four-year $66-million deal in January 2010. In three seasons with the Mets, Bay hit .234/.318/.369 with 26 home runs in 288 games. In 2012, he was limited to just 70 games, hitting .165/.237/.299 with eight home runs while earning $16 million.

"I still feel I have plenty to give to this game and that I can play baseball at a high level. But after serious consideration, both sides agree that we would benefit from a fresh start," Bay said in a statement released by the team. "I'm grateful we were able to reach an agreement to allow that to happen. I’m excited to keep playing and have no intention of just walking away. I enjoyed my time in New York. I have no regrets in signing with the Mets, other than that I wasn’t able to play to the level that the team, the fans and I all expected and that we weren’t able to win more games. I move on with nothing but an appreciation for the organization and its fans and best wishes to all my teammates there."

The release also had quotes from general manager Sandy Alderson, Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and manager Terry Collins, all praising Bay as a person while noting he didn't play well for the Mets.

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