The Mets signed left fielder Jason Bay to a four-year, $66MM deal with a vesting option for 2014 that could bring the total to $80MM over five years. The backloaded deal contains a $17MM option for '14 that vests if Bay reaches 600 plate appearances in 2013 or 500 in both 2012 and 2013. The deal also has a full no-trade clause. In additional to a supplemental draft pick, the Red Sox will receive the Mets' second-round pick (currently #53 overall). Bay turned down a four-year, $60MM offer from the Red Sox during the summer; SI's Jon Heyman tweets that they eventually lowered their offer to three years.
One week ago, WFAN's Mike Francesa first reported that the Mets would announce a Bay signing pending a physical. MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone pegged the value of the deal, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post first mentioning the vesting option and Ed Price of AOL FanHouse contributing as well. The AP added more contract details today. SNY's Brad Como tweeted yesterday that Bay passed his physical.
The Mets are far from done this offseason, but many of the initial reactions to the Bay signing talked about their stronger need for starting pitching. The other concern is Bay's defense, which rates poorly under advanced metrics.