The newest member of the Seattle Mariners, outfielder Jason Bay, was introduced at a press conference on Monday at Safeco Field and told media members that he is grateful for chance at a fresh start, via MyNorthwest.com:
"A fresh start, that is all I was looking for. You want to start fresh, wipe the slate clean and that is what I get to do here."
The 34-year-old Bay was bought out of the final year of his contract with the New York Mets in early November after hitting just .165 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 70 games for the team last season. He was due to make $16 million in 2013 and New York had a $17 million option for 2014 (plus a $3 million buyout). The Mets and Bay agreed to part ways with the team paying him his full salary and buyout, plus a $2 million signing bonus. Not a bad severance package, as far as Bay is concerned.
The signing of Bay furrowed many a brow in Seattle, but the 10-year veteran is focused on earning playing time and proving that he can still play:
"I told [Mariners general manager] Jack [Zduriencik] 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."
Bay currently resides in British Columbia, and perhaps a return home and a change of scenery will be just what he needs to return to form.