Things don't appear to be getting started on the right foot between Jason Bay and the Red Sox.
According to Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman, the left fielder has rejected Boston's initial offer.
Sources told Heyman the offer was for four years and "close to $60 million." (Just by way of comparison, right fielder J.D. Drew's contract was for five years and about $70 million, making him the highest-paid player on the team. Of course, that was signed in a different economic climate.)
Boston holds exclusive negotiating rights with Bay until 12:01 a.m. on Thursday night. After that, all bets are off and free agency begins.
"Nothing will happen by day's end, but we'll keep talking," Bay's agent, Joe Urbon, told Heyman.
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein is not surprised that he hasn't been able to lock down Bay, one of his biggest offensive assets.
"It's not a surprise that a player that's gone this far wants to see what's out there," he told SI.com.
There are rumblings from the GM meetings that Epstein is willing to do whatever it takes to win in 2010 after watching the Yankees take home the World Series in 2009. And now that Bay has made his position clear, some believe that Epstein will consider Matt Holliday (who is represented by Scott Boras) as well as Bay to play left field this coming season.
Other possible destinations for Bay could include New York (Mets and Yankees), St. Louis, San Francisco and Atlanta.