The Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners are also reported to be pursuing Bay, but the Mets may have more incentive to get a deal done. Having lost out on an elite starting pitcher, and desperate to satisfy frustrated fans, the Mets are eager to make a bold move.
According to one of the executives, if Bay eludes the Mets, they are considering turning their attention to Matt Holliday, another free-agent outfielder.
Holliday, who turns 30 in January, is represented by Scott Boras and would probably command a larger contract.
Meanwhile, a two-year deal for the Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi will be completed Thursday, according to a person familiar with those negotiations. Igarashi has been in the United States for several days now, and it is believed he has passed his physical examination.