The Angels announced that they have signed veteran outfielder Jon Jay to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league camp. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported earlier that Jay was close to a deal with a club.
Jay, 36 next month, has appeared with six different teams since he first entered the majors as a Cardinal over a decade ago. His finest years came from 2010-14, all in St. Louis, as Jay overcame low power to post above-average batting averages and on-base percentages en route to a .295/.359/.396 line (112 wRC+) in 2,424 plate appearances.
Jay struggled during his final year as a Cardinal, 2015, but rebounded to log league-average numbers in the ensuing two seasons with the Padres and Cubs (Angels manager Joe Maddon was the Cubs’ skipper then). Since 2018, though, Jay’s output has fallen off a cliff. In a combined 1,258 PA with the Royals, White Sox and Diamondbacks, he batted an underwhelming .272/.337/.347 (86 wRC+). Last season was especially tough for Jay, who hit by far a career-worst .160/.211/.240 as a D-back, though that came over just 57 trips to the plate.
Jay, despite his difficulties in 2020, did parlay a minors deal into a big league roster spot then. He’ll hope to do the same this year as outfield depth for the Angels. The fact that Jay has extensive experience at all three outfield positions surely appealed to the Halos.