Cubs Sign Jon Jay, Mets Reach Deal With Cespedes


Published on November 30 2016 6:15 am
Last Updated on November 30 2016 6:16 am


The Cubs have signed outfielder Jon Jay to a one-year, $8 million contract, the team announced Tuesday.

The 31-year-old is a career .287 hitter with a .352 on-base percentage. He has played most of his career with the Cardinals but spent 2016 with the Padres, hitting .291 in 347 at-bats.

Jay owns the highest fielding percentage (.996) of any active center fielder and provides a left-handed complement to rookie righty Albert Almora Jr., who's also known as a defensive whiz.

The Cubs and Jay began talking about a deal at the GM meetings days after the World Series as the team stressed the need for the right fit in the clubhouse.

"One of the things that I respected is that the Cubs made it clear they are careful about the players they go after and recruit," Jay's agent, Nez Balelo, told ESPN. "The Cubs have built a chemistry over the past two seasons they believe has helped them evolve into a winner.I believe Jon Jay checked all of their boxes."

The signing could mark the end of Dexter Fowler's career in Chicago. The free-agent outfielder is expected to receive a multiyear deal elsewhere.

Jay, meanwhile, joins Almora, Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and Jorge Soler, the holdovers from a Cubs outfield that won the World Series. Zobrist moved to the outfield when Javier Baez took over at second base down the stretch.

One or more of the above-mentioned players could be on the move before the end of the winter as the Cubs continue to search for young, controllable pitching.

Mets Reach Deal With Cespedes

The New York Mets have agreed to a four-year, $110 million deal with outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, sources told ESPN MLB Insider Jim Bowden on Tuesday.

Cespedes will receive a full no-trade clause and will make $22.5 million in 2017, $29 million in 2018 and 2019 and $29.5 million in 2020, sources told ESPN's Adam Rubin and Jerry Crasnick.

It's the top average annual value ever for an outfielder and ties the top AAV ever for a free-agent position player. It's the second-highest AAV for any position player behind Detroit's Miguel Cabrera.

The story was first reported by Fox Sports.

Cespedes, 31, hit .280 and led the Mets with 31 home runs and 86 RBIs last season. He had received a three-year, $75 million deal from the Mets last offseason. That agreement gave him the right to opt out after collecting $27.5 million in 2016.

Including last season's haul, as well as a $100,000 bonus, his total deal with the Mets weighs in at $137.6 million over five seasons.