(Photo Credit: CBS Local)
The St. Louis Cardinals and Jon Jay have avoided arbitration agreeing on a two-year deal that will keep Jay in St. Louis through the 2016 season. The deal will pay Jay $10.975M in total with $3.5M coming in 2015 and $6.225M coming in 2016. He will receive a signing bonus of $1.25M.
With the deal the Cardinals have now signed all arbitration eligible players. In total St. Louis signed five arbitration eligible players with the big contract going to Lance Lynn for three years $22M. Jordan Walden, Tony Cruz, and Peter Bourjos each avoided arbitration as well.
The signing of Jay comes hours after James Shields officially signed his deal with the San Diego Padres. Whether or not the Cardinals ever were actively in pursuit of a big name pitcher this off-season remains unknown, but nevertheless Mozeliak wished to keep Jay in a Cardinal uniform for at least two more years. Without the temptation of Shields still out there, signing Jay became that much easier.
A lot of Cardinals fans are either on the Jay train or don’t really care for him. Whichever side you’re on there’s no denying he plays a mean center field. Jay boasts an 11.2 WAR when he’s in center and has committed just seven errors in the past five years.
Jay had a respectable .303 batting average in the 2014 season, which was up from the .275 he hit in 2013. He also led the league it the hit by pitch category with 20 plunks.
Say what you will about Jay’s productivity on either side of the ball, he provides outfield depth that St. Louis so badly needs. Matt Holliday is on the back end of his career, Jason Heyward hasn’t signed long term yet, and Peter Bourjos has failed to produce offensively making this signing an easy decision.
Pitchers and catchers report in less than nine days. Spring is right around the corner!
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