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Mets, Bay agree to end their mutual misery

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Canada's Jason Bay and the New York Mets ended their unproductive relationship after three miserable seasons when they agreed Wednesday to terminate the outfielder's contract with one guaranteed season remaining.

The deal makes the 34-year-old from Trail, B.C., a free agent and allows the team to spread out the remaining US$21 million it owes him.

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

After signing a $66 million, four-year deal before the 2010 season, the three-time all-star hit .234 in three injury-plagued seasons with 26 homers and 124 RBIs, including a .165 average with eight homers and 20 RBIs this year. Sidelined by concussions and rib injuries, he played just 288 games for the Mets.

"I'm grateful we were able to reach an agreement to allow that to happen," Bay said. "I'm excited to keep playing and have no intention of just walking away. I enjoyed my time in New York. I have no regrets in signing with the Mets, other than that I wasn't able to play to the level that the team, the fans and I all expected and that we weren't able to win more games."

Dodgers hire McGwire

LOS ANGELES -- Mark McGwire was hired Wednesday as hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he'll work with all-star sluggers Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.

McGwire spent the past three seasons in the same job with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he starred during parts of his 16-year major league career. During McGwire's tenure, the Cardinals led the National League in batting average (.269) and on-base percentage (.337), ranked second in runs (2,263) and fourth in slugging percentage (.416).

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2012 D5

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