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Red Sox, Bay shelve talks... again

Boston’s contract talks with free-agent-to-be Jason Bay have ended, one week after the Red Sox made a new offer to their left fielder. The decision was termed mutual, and Bay still seems to want to settle in Boston:

“I’d still love to get something done here,” Bay told the Boston Globe. “I like it here. But that being said, we just basically at this point right now don’t want it to be an ongoing distraction, like I said, for both of us coming to the field and answering contract questions.

“So we’re kind of tabling it and there’s a big window at the end of the year after the season. We can sit down and try to hammer something out again. But the way things have gone so far, like I said, very encouraged with that.”

The Red Sox have no one else they’re looking to break into left field, so they’ll likely make a strong push to re-sign Bay or bring in Matt Holliday after the season. The latter player might be turning into the better investment, and while it shouldn’t play a huge role when such major players are at stake, the Red Sox could potentially improve their draft status by signing Holliday. They’d lose their first-round pick, but they’d likely get a similar or better one when Bay signs elsewhere and they’d pick up a supplemental selection.