Chicago Cubs: Late in winter, will Jon Jay take a discount to return?
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs got a bargain last year – will they again?
Jay came in to replace Dexter Fowler, who signed a massive five-year, $82.5 million deal with the rival St. Louis Cardinals following the Cubs’ World Series championship 2016 season.
On a one-year, $8 million deal, the former University of Miami standout did everything asked of him and then some. Appearing in 141 games for Joe Maddon, Jay slashed .296/.374/.375. His .374 on-base percentage ranked as the best mark of his career, making him a perfect fit in a still young-and-developing Cubs lineup.
At Wrigley Field, specifically, Jay raked. His OPS was 170 points higher at home than on the road – thanks largely in-part to a staggering .419 OBP. His presence in the lineup on a near-daily basis became more important when it became clear Ben Zobrist was not his normal self, swinging more often and first pitches and not working counts as he did in the past.
Defensively, he regularly appeared in all three outfield spots. Partnering with Albert Almora, he served not only as a platoon partner but a mentor. He perfectly fits the mold of versatility so important to Maddon and, no matter where you put him, he gave you a minimum of league-average defense.
Given his offensive contributions, I’ll take that any day of the week.