The Chicago White Sox have reportedly agreed to a deal with free-agent outfielder Jon Jay, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The one-year deal is reportedly worth $4 million, per Nightengale.
The 33-year-old split time last season between the Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks, combining for a .268 batting average, .330 on-base percentage and 74 runs scored in 143 games.
As Nightengale noted, Jay is also a close friend of free agent Manny Machado, who has an offer on the table from the White Sox. Yonder Alonso is also the shortstop’s brother-in-law and is currently on Chicago’s roster.
The trio have known each other for years growing up in Miami, which Machado spoke about in a 2017 essay. “For Jon, Yonder and I, Miami means family, good friends, culture and … baseball,” Machado wrote in the Players’ Tribune. “Each winter we meet up in our hometown and we go to work. We laugh a lot, too, and have fun together. At the end of the day, though, we’re there to put in work and to get better at baseball.”
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While it might not be the only factor he considers, the relationships could potentially put the White Sox over the top in the Machado sweepstakes.
Of course, Jay has value on his own on Chicago’s roster.
The left-hander can play all three outfield spots and is an above-average defender, helping his team even when the bat isn’t working.
He has also proved himself as a hitter in the past, topping .290 at the plate in both 2016 and 2017 before a relatively down 2018 season. Adding in his playoff experience with the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs, winning a World Series in 2011, Jay can be a useful addition for the White Sox in 2019.
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