A Mets spokesman confirmed they made an offer to Bay. ESPN's Buster Olney reports it is for four years and between $60 million and $65 million, according to sources close to negotiations. Boston would like to re-sign Bay, but is also weighing left fielder Matt Holliday as an alternative.
The Mets had been focused on pitching, but with the Los Angeles Angels indicating they had "more pressing needs" than pursuing a left fielder, general manager Omar Minaya has moved aggressively toward adding Bay.
The Red Sox were not taken by surprise by the Mets' interest in Bay, according to a baseball source. They had heard New York was going to make a big push at some point.
The Mets also said they made an offer to catcher Bengie Molina on Thursday.
The Red Sox may also need a third baseman if the reported Mike Lowell deal goes through, but one industry source cautioned that the process is ongoing and is not a "slam dunk." The expectation is that it will ultimately get done, and the Red Sox are talking with agent Scott Boras about free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre.
Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.