Probability of Sox re-signing Bay shrinking

Probability of Sox re-signing Bay shrinking

BOSTON -- It is starting to appear unlikely that All-Star slugger Jason Bay will re-sign with the Boston Red Sox.

Amid a report from FOXSports.com that Bay had rejected Boston's latest offer, Joe Urbon, the left fielder's lead representative, did not dispute that his client could be slipping away from the Sox.

"I'm just saying that the initial offers we've received from other clubs are just much more attractive to Jason than the last offer we received from the Red Sox," Urbon said in a phone interview with MLB.com.

There were reports in November that the Red Sox had made a four-year, $60 million offer to Bay that was rejected. When was their latest offer?

"Recently, very recently," said Urbon, who met with the Red Sox multiple times during the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, which concluded Thursday morning.

The Mets made an offer to Bay near the conclusion of the Meetings. Multiple news outlets had that proposal at four years and roughly $65 million.

The Angels initially said they would make a push for Bay, but manager Mike Scioscia said it was unlikely they would land the left fielder.

The one possible suitor that has been coy throughout regarding its level of interest in Bay is the Seattle Mariners. That is a situation that bears watching. Bay and his family live in the Seattle area during the offseason.

How many offers does the 31-year-old Bay currently have?

"I don't want to go there," said Urbon. "Multiple is what I'll confirm."

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has a policy of not commenting on any free-agent negotiations until they are complete.

Urbon has not entirely ruled out Bay resurfacing with the Red Sox.

"I think the fact that Jason hasn't signed with a club yet -- every club has a chance to sign Jason Bay, including the Red Sox," Urbon said. "We've just got better offers, better opportunities from other clubs."

Bay was acquired by the Red Sox on July 31, 2008, in a blockbuster trade for perennial All-Star Manny Ramirez. Despite the pressure that went with being traded for a player of that magnitude, Bay thrived from the outset at Fenway. He hit .293 with nine homers and 37 RBIs for the Sox over the final two months of '08.

Bay played a crucial role in the Red Sox defeating the Angels in a four-game American League Division Series that October, hitting .412 with two homers and five RBIs. He hit .292 with a homer and four RBIs in the AL Championship Series, which the Red Sox lost to the Rays in seven games.

In 2009, his first full season in Boston, Bay hit .267 with 36 homers and 119 RBIs. Like the majority of his teammates, he struggled as the Red Sox were swept out of the ALDS by the Angels, producing just a single in eight at-bats.

It remains to be seen what Boston's best plan of attack will be should Bay go elsewhere. Matt Holliday is a free-agent left fielder with similar credentials as Bay. Agent Scott Boras has been comparing Holliday to Mark Teixeira, who signed an eight-year, $180 million deal last winter.

If the Red Sox deem Holliday's price to be too high, they could find a right-handed bat to platoon with Jeremy Hermida in left field. Mark DeRosa and Mike Cameron are two right-handed-hitting outfielders the Red Sox have been linked to this winter.

The Red Sox are also in flux at third base, as Mike Lowell is on the verge of being traded to the Rangers. Adrian Beltre, another Boras client, is viewed to be one of Boston's top targets at that position. The Red Sox could also get a first baseman and move Kevin Youkilis to third base.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.