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Bay passes physical, Mets make deal official

Boston's Jason Bay celebrates after hitting a two-run

Boston's Jason Bay celebrates after hitting a two-run home run against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park in Boston. (August 12, 2009) Photo Credit: AP

Six days later, it became official.

Jason Bay, who agreed to a four-year, $66-million deal with the Mets last Tuesday, passed his physical Monday in Manhattan and will be formally introduced this morning at Citi Field.

Since the Mets and Bay reached an agreement, which has a vesting option for a fifth year worth $17 million, according to The Associated Press, there had been much speculation regarding Bay's knees and shoulders and that his passing the physical might be something more than a rubber stamp.

That was the primary reason the Mets held off on confirming the signing until Monday, after Bay had passed.

The 31-year-old Bay has proven fairly durable in his career, playing 162 games in 2005 - the year after he was the NL's Rookie of the Year - 159 in 2006, 145 in 2007, a combined 155 games between the Pirates and Red Sox in 2008 and 151 last season.

One of the first questions Bay is sure to get Tuesday will relate to his delay in accepting the Mets' offer, a nearly three-week pause that had people thinking he really didn't want to come to New York.

Sean Casey, who played with Bay in Pittsburgh and Boston, said Thursday on WFAN that isn't the case with his friend.

"He's excited to go to New York," Casey said. "Obviously, he played in Boston, so I don't think the media is going to be that big a deal for his personality. But he wants to be a Met. He wouldn't have signed in New York if he didn't want to be a Met."

The Mets are depending on the 6-2, 200-pound Bay, who had career bests in homers (36) and RBIs (119) last season, to add a significant jolt to their offense.

The outfielder, known for his ability to pull the ball, has hit 30-plus home runs and driven in 100-plus runs in four of his last five seasons.

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