The Seattle Mariners finalized their one-year contract with Canadian outfielder Jason Bay on Saturday, returning the one-time slugger to familiar territory in the hopes of revitalizing his career.
"I am glad we were able to put this together and bring Jason back to the Northwest to continue his baseball career. This is a good opportunity for Jason as well as the Seattle Mariners," Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement.
"Jason has a history of being a productive major league player and has participated in post-season play. We look forward to adding his experience to our young group of players," he said.
The Mariners and Bay, from Trail, B.C., reached agreement on a one-year deal earlier in the week at the baseball winter meetings.
Bay was a college star at Gonzaga and lives in the Seattle area during the off-season. His career has floundered the past three seasons with the New York Mets.
Bay hit just 26 homers and played in only 288 games in his three years in New York due to injuries. He was a three-time All-Star in previous stops with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox, and is a low risk move for the Mariners, who are looking at all avenues to try to upgrade one of the worst offences in baseball. He made his MLB debut with the San Diego Padres in 2003 before being dealt to the Pirates later that season.
Bay's contract with the Mets was terminated last month, but he is still getting paid the $21 million US that he was owed.
"Jason is a gritty, talented player with a winning attitude," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "We know he has a passion for the game and looking forward to having him on the field."
Ryan Ludwick reportedly staying on with Reds
A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that free agent outfielder Ryan Ludwick is returning to the Cincinnati Reds for a two-year contract worth $15 million US.
The person spoke Saturday under condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement about the agreement.
The 34-year-old Ludwick hit .275 with 26 home runs and 80 RBIs while helping Cincinnati win the NL Central. He hit three homers and batted .333 in the Reds' five-game loss to the San Francisco Giants in the NL division series.
Ludwick declined a mutual option after the season, turning down a $5 million salary and instead receiving a $500,000 buyout. He had signed a one-year deal with a $2 million base salary for 2012, and earned another $350,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances.