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Source: Mariners close to deal with Jason Bay

By staff

The Mariners are close to signing free-agent outfielder Jason Bay to a low-risk deal, a team source tells 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk.

Bay would become the first free-agent addition this offseason for the Mariners, who are in desperate need of offense and have been linked to several hitters at the winter meetings.

Bay, 34, averaged just over 30 home runs from 2004 to 2009, but his power numbers significantly declined after signing a four-year, $66 million deal with the Mets in January of 2010. He’s hit just 26 home runs over the last three seasons while hitting .234, 35 points below his career average.

The final two years of Bay’s contract were terminated earlier this month, making him a free agent.

Bay has ties to the Pacific Northwest. He’s from Trail, British Columbia and attended Gonzaga University in Spokane.