Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today the club has signed free agent outfielder Jason Bay to one-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
To make room on the Major League 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Mauricio Robles has been designated for assignment. The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright Robles to the minor leagues. The Mariners 40-man roster remains full with this signing.
Bay, 34, is a three-time All-Star in the National League (2005, 2006 with Pittsburgh) and American League (2009 with Boston). He has combined to hit .269 with 211 home runs in 1,210 career Major League games with the Padres (2003), Pirates (2003-08), Red Sox (2008-09) and Mets (2010-12).
“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,” Zduriencik said. “Jason has a history of being a productive Major League player and has participated in postseason play. We look forward to adding his experience to our young group of players.”
Bay spent the last three seasons with the New York Mets where he combined to hit 26 home runs and record 124 RBI while being limited to 288 games due to four separate trips to the disabled list.
In 200 games in the American League with Boston in 2008-09, he combined to bat .274 (196x715) with 45 home runs and 156 RBI. Over a six-season stretch from 2004-09, Bay hit 181 home runs, 15th-most among Major Leaguers and 4th-most by an outfielder. He has also recorded four seasons during his career with 30 home runs, 100 RBI and 100 runs scored (2005-06, 2008-09).
“Jason is a gritty, talented player with a winning attitude,” said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. “We know he has a passion for the game and looking forward to having him on the field when we get things going in a few months in Peoria.”
Bay earned an AL Silver Slugger Award in 2009 after recording career-highs with 36 home runs and 119 RBI in 151 games with Boston. He is a five-time National League Player of the Week and was named the 2004 National League Rookie of the Year with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Northwest native grew up in Trail, British Columbia, Canada (130 miles due North of Spokane, played college baseball North Idaho College (Coeur d'Alene, ID) and Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA) and currently resides in Kirkland. Bay was originally selected by the Montreal Expos in the 22nd round of the 2000 June draft.
· From 2004-2009, combined to bat .280 (902x3226) with 389 extra base hits (2B – 186, 3B – 22, HR – 181) and 596 RBI…his .894 OPS (.519 SLG, .375 OBP) ranked 6th among all Major League outfielders during that stretch.
· In 2009 with Boston, led all Major League outfielders with 119 RBI and tied for the lead with 36 home runs (Werth).
· Is a three-time All-Star, and led all AL outfielders with 4,087,450 votes in 2009.
· Earned National League Player of the Week 5 times during his career (last: Sept. 5-11, 2011).
· Owns a career .988 fielding percentage with 66 outfield assists…played exclusively in the outfield during his career (LF – 1170 G/1129 GS, CF – 40 G/37 GS, RF – 1 G/GS).
· Appeared in 14 postseason games with the Red Sox in 2008-09, batting .306 (15x49) with 3 HR and 9 RBI.
· Was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 2003 trade for Brian Giles, along with current Mariners LHP Oliver Perez.
· Won the West Coast Conference batting title as a senior at Gonzaga in 2000 after batting .388 with 15 home runs…also ranks 3rd in Gonzaga history with 35 home runs despite playing just two seasons (1999-2000).
· Played for Canada in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic combining to bat .467 (7x15) in 5 games.
· Ranks 3rd among Canadian born Major Leaguers with 211 career home runs (Larry Walker – 383, Matt Stairs – 259).
· Played in the 1990 Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.
· Started the Ronald McDonald “Jason Bay Family Fund” in 2004.