During the winter meetings, the Seattle Mariners were named with virtually every single big outfield bat available and came away with one signing, just not the one everyone expected.
"You want to start fresh, wipe the slate clean and that is what I get to do here," Bay said.
The British Columbia native and Gonzaga University graduate put up big numbers with the Pirates and the Red Sox from 2004-2009. He agreed to a four-year $66 million contract with the New York Mets in 2010 but never lived up to the hype.
After Bay and the Mets parted ways, the Mariners stepped in and offered Bay a $1 million contract. Bay is aware that his roster spot is far from guaranteed, but at 34 years old still has something left in the tank.
"I told Jack when I came here, this wasn't a platform spot for me, I was not picking a spot to try to boost value for next year. This is something where I feel like I can still play," he said.
If Bay is able to muster anything close to the player he was, the Mariners will have a sizable steal on their hands. They are hoping playing in a less-pressure environment in his hometown (Bay lives in nearby Kirkland, Wash.) will translate to the playing field.
"I feel like I can still do it, and I did do it in New York but there was no consistency," he said. "If I had gone months without any signs of life, but all of a sudden it's just bam, it's there. We just have got to get to a point where we can get it there consistently. Am I the exact same guy I was in '04 or '05? Probably not, but I feel like a large percentage of that is still pretty good."
Bay said he is physically ready for next season after playing only 70 games last year due to injury.