White Sox sign veteran outfielder to a one-year deal. The veteran is also a friend of one of the top free agents still available this offseason.
The White Sox addressed another need this offseason as they signed veteran outfielder Jon Jay to a one-year, $4 million deal. Jay last played with the Arizona Diamondbacks this past season and has a wealth of postseason experience from his playing days with the St. Louis Cardinals.
An interesting note about the signing of Jay is that he is a close friend of free agent superstar Manny Machado. The Sox already acquired Machado’s brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso in a trade and now they have signed one of his friends in Jay.
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While fans could speculate about the Sox motives in acquiring individuals that are close to Machado, Alonso and Jay both could help the team in 2019. For Jay, he could provide the Sox with a better hitting center fielder in their lineup for the upcoming season. Adam Engel was a Gold Glove finalist in 2018, but he’s not a player that will perform well offensively on a consistent basis.
Jay could help the Sox offensively for 2019 while prospects such as Luis Robert and Luis Alexander Basabe get more time to develop in the minors. The 33-year-old outfielder split time with the Kansas City Royals and Diamondbacks this past season. In 143 total games, Jay owned a slash line of .268/.330/.347 with 19 doubles and 40 RBIs.
With the addition of Jay, the Sox could very well have him hit leadoff in 2019. Jay is a career .275 hitter when batting leadoff. In 2018, Jay hit .269 through 108 games as a leadoff hitter. The Sox having a good leadoff hitter for this upcoming season would be beneficial to the team’s success.
Jay has been in the postseason with the Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. His experience could help a mostly young Sox team that could possibly contend in 2019. A lot will need to work in the Sox favor for contention to be a possibility but the front office has continued to improve the team this offseason. Jay’s biggest contribution this year could be helping the Sox sign his close friend in Machado. Stay tuned Sox fans.