12:40pm: Rob Bradford of WEEI.com has Jason Bay’s side of the story:
“I don’t think anybody in my situation wants to play for six years and then you earn the right to be a free agent and on some levels sell yourself short, and that doesn’t mean there doesn’t have to be some concessions… But you put yourself in this position and I think it’s in my best interest to kind of explore. Not to say we’re ever going to go that far, but I definitely want to make sure it’s the right fit.”
Bay is making no predictions about the market:
"Like I said, if something comes up that makes some sense … I mean, you get to this position you don’t want to sell it short, but I also understand it’s a different time that it was three or four years ago.”
12:30pm: Adam Kilgore of the Boston Globe has an explanation from Theo Epstein:
"The market has changed so much from two years ago to this winter, from a year ago to now… Who knows where it’s going to be a year from now? So that unpredictability, I think, has created a landscape that’s been difficult for us to navigate in terms of getting an extension done a year early. Both sides wanted it, so we tried. But both sides recognized that it’s just too difficult to get done right now. We had some talks [earlier in the offseason], but they weren’t really substantive. Recently, we’ve had more substantive talks. It’s become clear that because of the unusual marketplace, we’re not going to get anything done during spring training. We’re going to sort of halt talks for now, just table them. But both sides have committed to maintaining good dialogue throughout the course of the season."
11:59am: Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports the Red Sox have halted negotiations with Jason Bay. Both sides feel an agreement is not possible at this time, after the market for power-hitting corner outfielders has experienced dramatic changes.
Speier says the two sides remain open to discussion resuming during the season. Bay will make $7.5MM during the final year of his 4 year $18.25MM contract.