Red Sox Out: One Less Suitor For Jason Bay

With the Red Sox reportedly signing John Lackey to a large contract on Monday, it would seem Boston no longer intends — or has the money — to re-sign Jason Bay to play left field in 2010.

Considering the Red Sox haven’t been aggressive toward re-signing their left fielder who replaced Manny Ramirez in 2008, it makes the Red Sox’s near re-signing at the All-Star break even more confounding:

According to one source, in fact, the Red Sox and Bay either had agreed or were close to agreement on a contract at the All-Star break when the Red Sox expressed concerns over Bay’s knee, shoulder or both. Whatever the case, the Red Sox balked at roughly the time that Theo Epstein spoke of an “aggressive,” offer to the player, who is now sufficiently disgruntled that agent Joe Urbon is telling the media that Bay is “prepared to move on” from Boston.

The Mets seem to be Bay’s most likely destination at the moment. New York offered Bay a four-year, $65 million contract last week, but may be willing to go to five years, if necessary. The Mets should have more leverage now, with the Red Sox out of the sweepstakes.

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