Might Jason Bay be heading home not just for the holidays, but for years to come?
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports the Mariners "have made a concerted push" to land the British Columbia product and Seattle-area resident. Further, Baker writes, "I can tell you that I've heard from folks in the Seattle area that Bay [who lives in Kirkland, Wash.] has been telling people he's optimistic about signing here."
Baker notes the addition of Bay would go against the emphasis on defense shown by Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik in previous deals and that prior rumors about Seattle's possible interest in the free-agent left fielder "were usually greeted with skepticism, given his relatively poor ranking defensively" and the fact that right-handed hitters have a tougher time at Seattle's home park than lefties.
But there's no denying the Mariners could use some punch in their lineup, and Baker writes that the argument to sacrifice some defense to boost the offense "is apparently winning the Mariners over because they continue to get deeper into talks with Bay's camp."
Our Gordon Edes reported earlier this week that Bay continues to be the Red Sox's prime target to play left field next season.