The big Seattle Mariners news is nothing. The moderate Seattle Mariners news is that the Mariners have agreed to terms with Jason Bay, pending a physical. The small Seattle Mariners news is that the Bay contract isn't actually worth seven figures, as was initially reported. Proof, provided you put your trust in other people with whom you might not be personally familiar:
A well-placed source says that the seven-figure contract rumor for Bay is false.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) December 5, 2012
Not sure the final figure on Bay contract with #Mariners, but am told it's not the seven-figure contract that has been reported elsewhere.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) December 5, 2012
Financially, it's a small detail. It's the difference between, say, $1.2 million and $0.6 million. It wouldn't mean much in terms of projected roster construction. But giving Bay seven figures would've implied that the Mariners saw real, actual value instead of just potential value, in the event that Bay rebounds a little. A lesser value means the Mariners value Bay less, which is more in line with how he ought to be valued at this point.
A lesser value also means Bay is easier to drop if he doesn't achieve, or if he doesn't even get the opportunity to achieve. You don't let a six-figure contract stand in your way of anything. I'll repeat now that just because Jason Bay doesn't really fit with the current roster doesn't mean he won't fit with the roster that gets built. But Jason Bay doesn't really fit with the current roster, given who he's been lately, and given who the Mariners already have in-house.
Bay still needs to pass a physical, the Mariners' 40-man roster is full, and tomorrow brings the Rule 5 draft, so don't expect Bay to be official for some time. Feel free to commence thinking about it now, though, such that when Bay is official, you've already come to terms with it. Baseball transactions were very different 30 years ago.