AP sources: Bay gets $17M option for 2014

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NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Bay’s contract with the New York Mets includes a $17 million option for 2014 with a $3 million buyout, people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

Bay took a physical Monday, a necessary step to finalize the deal, and the Mets scheduled a Tuesday news conference at Citi Field to introduce their first major free-agent signing of the offseason. The team’s senior executives took Bay to dinner Monday night.

He is guaranteed $66 million under the four-year contract and could make $80 million over five seasons, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the contract had not yet been announced.

Bay gets an $8.5 million signing bonus, payable upon approval by Major League Baseball, a $6.5 million salary this year and $16 million in each of the final three seasons. The outfielder’s option would become guaranteed if Bay has 600 plate appearances in 2013 or 500 plate appearances in both the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

He also receives a full no-trade provision, meaning the Mets can’t deal him without his approval.

New York still is trying to sign a catcher but has not made much progress in negotiations with Bengie Molina, and is talking with several free-agent pitchers, including Joel Pineiro. The Mets also have scouts monitoring first baseman Carlos Delgado, who went 1 for 4 Sunday night for Puerto Rico’s Carolina Giants in his first game since hip surgery on May.

New York hopes to re-sign the 37-year-old, who originally was expected back in July but had a series of setbacks. The Mets would want Delgado to accept a deal with a relatively low guarantee with substantial bonuses.