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Mets to unveil Bay on Tuesday

Mets to unveil Bay on Tuesday

At about noon ET on Monday, the Mets officially secured one of their biggest reasons for optimism heading into next season.

The Mets announced a Tuesday news conference at 11 a.m. to unveil Jason Bay, who passed his physical in New York on Monday. The news conference will be carried live on MLB.com.

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The deal for the 31-year-old outfielder is reportedly a four-year, $66 million contract, which includes a fifth-year vesting option. The option, according to the Associated Press, is for $17 million, with a $3 million buyout, and it becomes guaranteed if he reaches 600 plate appearances in 2013 or 500 plate appearances in both the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Bay, who also gets a full no-trade clause, will get an $8.5 million signing bonus, $6.5 million in 2010 and $16 million in each of the final three guaranteed seasons, the AP added.

Going into the examination, there was a reported concern regarding Bay's shoulders and knees. But that was seemingly put to rest by the Mets.

The acquisition of Bay fills the Mets' hole in left field and gives them a much-needed power bat in the middle of the order to cope with the spacious new Citi Field. Last year, the club hit a Major League-low 95 home runs, with just 46 coming in 81 home games. Bay, however, has averaged 30 homers and 99 RBIs through his first six full seasons in the Majors.

A former National League Rookie of the Year with the Pirates and three-time All-Star, Bay won his first Silver Slugger Award with the Red Sox this past season, when he hit .267 while notching a career-high 36 homers and 119 RBIs.

With Bay signed, Mets general manager Omar Minaya can turn his attention to potentially signing a front-line catcher -- perhaps Bengie Molina -- and another starter to improve on the club's 92-loss season in 2009.

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

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