As for player talks, the Mets’ agreement makes the 34-year-old Bay a free agent and allows the team to spread out the remaining $21 million it owes him.
After signing a $66 million, four-year deal before the 2010 season, the three-time All-Star hit .234 in three injury-plagued seasons with 26 homers and 124 RBIs, including a .165 average with eight homers and 20 RBIs this year. Sidelined by concussions and rib injuries, he played just 288 games for the Mets.
‘‘I still feel I have plenty to give to this game and that I can play baseball at a high level. But after serious consideration, both sides agree that we would benefit from a fresh start,’’ Bay said in a statement released by the team.
McGwire, whose 583 homers rank 10th, joined the Dodgers after three seasons as hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals. He was, lured by the chance to spend more time with his wife and five young children.
‘‘It’s the first time in my baseball career I have an opportunity to live at home and work at home,’’ McGwire said. ‘‘To do what I love, still be in the game of baseball and to be at home, it just fit perfectly.’’
Daniels hopes Texas remains a fit for Hamilton, a slugger who appears likely to leave after helping the team win AL pennants in 2009 and ‘10.
‘‘I think there’s this perception that we don’t want Josh back. That’s not accurate. I'd love to have Josh back. It’s got to work for both sides,’’ Daniels said. ‘‘Whether he ends up here or not, I feel like some need to defend him right now that everyone’s kind of throwing out the negatives with him. The reality is like this guy’s been a stud for this franchise for the last five years and done some things that have enabled us to reach levels we hadn’t previously reached.’’