Monday was a busy day for the White Sox. After signing Kelvin Herrera, the club would get into deep discussions, and eventually agree to a deal with outfielder Jon Jay. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the White Sox and Jay were “in serious discussions.” Later on, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports announced that the one-year $4 million deal would be complete pending a physical.
Jon Jay will receive $4 million on his one year deal with the #Whitesox once he passes his physical
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 8, 2019
Jon Jay spent his 2018 season with the Kansas City Royals before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks and would finish his season in Arizona. Between both clubs, Jay slashed .268/.330/.347 in 143 games. Jon Jay has a career batting average of .285 throughout his nine years in the MLB. Defensively, Jon Jay has a .996 career fielding percentage and has only 8 errors in 1001 total games.
At 33-years-old, Jon Jay is an additional left-handed bat in the lineup and has the ability to play any of the outfield spots. He’s spent the majority of his career playing center field and will be an immediate upgrade at that position. With this being a one-year deal, Jon Jay will only be in Chicago for the duration of his contract. However, he will be a serviceable stopgap in the outfield while prospects continue to develop over the next year. At the very least, Jon Jay could possibly be flipped at the trade deadline if this deal doesn’t workout the way the White Sox hope it will.
So, why Jon Jay when there are better options out there? Well, this Players Tribune article should tell you everything you need to know. This was yet another move made by Rick Hahn to try and persuade Manny Machado to sign with the White Sox. Manny, Jon, and Yonder Alonso all have a very close relationship and train together in Miami during the off-season. Yonder and Jon were teammates at The University of Miami as well. Here’s a video from the same Players Tribune article where Machado talks about their off-season together:
Once again, Rick Hahn is doing everything in his power to make the White Sox the most attractable destination for a top-tier free agent in Manny Machado. Will this work and help convince the 26-year-old superstar to sign? We will find out, but it seems like the White Sox chances are improving by the day. These three players have a close relationship, but have never had the opportunity to play on the same team together. Hopefully Machado will jump on that opportunity and join his friends on the South Side.
*The club confirmed the signing on Thursday, January 10. The corresponding move involved designating Charlie Tilson for assignment.
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