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Mets and disappointing slugger Bay "part ways"

New York Mets left fielder Jason Bay makes a diving attempt to catch a lead-off single by Washington Nationals batter Roger Bernadina in the
New York Mets left fielder Jason Bay makes a diving attempt to catch a lead-off single by Washington Nationals batter Roger Bernadina in the

(Reuters) - Jason Bay and the New York Mets have agreed to part ways after negotiating a buy-out of the under-performing outfielder's contract, the National League team said on Wednesday.

Bay, who signed a four-year, $66 million contract prior to the 2010 season, was due $16 million next year and a $3 million buyout of his option year in 2014, according to Major League Baseball's website.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though local media reported that the Canadian would become a free agent in return for agreeing on deferred payments from the Mets, who also owed him an outstanding $2 million from his signing bonus.

"I still feel I have plenty to give to this game and that I can play baseball at a high level," said Bay in a statement. "But after serious consideration, both sides agree that we would benefit from a fresh start."

Battling concussions and other injuries during his three-year stay in New York, the 34-year-old Bay hit .234 with 26 home runs in 288 games over that span.

Last season, Bay batted a woeful .165 with eight home runs and 20 RBIs in 70 games.

Prior to joining the Mets, Bay was a three-time All-Star, averaging 31 home runs per season from 2005-09 while playing with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox.

"Like Jason, we had planned for the kind of production here that he enjoyed in Boston and Pittsburgh, where he established himself as one of the game's top players," Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. "We wish Jason and his family success and happiness in the future."

(Reporting by Larry Fine New York, Editing by Steve Keating in Toronto.)

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