CHICAGO – Jon Jay sees the rebuilding White Sox poised for big things with promising young players. He’s looking forward to being a part of it.
“It’s a great organization, a great city,” he said.
The free-agent outfielder and the Sox finalized a $4 million, one-year contract Thursday.
The 33-year-old played for Kansas City and Arizona last season, batting .268 with three homers and 40 RBIs in 143 games. He also made at least 24 starts at each spot in the outfield.
The addition gives the Sox another veteran hitter after they struck out 1,594 times last season, tops in the majors. Jay also is friends with slugger Manny Machado, one of the Sox’s top targets in free agency.
“Manny’s going to do what’s best for his family,” Jay said. “That’s going to be up to them, privately. I haven’t been involved in any of that. Those are their matters. Let’s see how everything shakes out. Obviously, would we love to have Manny Machado on the team? Absolutely. The guy is unbelievable. ... Who knows what is going to happen?”
The Sox also acquired Yonder Alonso – Machado’s brother-in-law – from Cleveland last month. But general manager Rick Hahn insisted the Sox brought them in because of their attributes, not recruiting usefulness.
“We feel that they make us better in 2019 and have the potential to have a lasting impact on what we’re trying to build for the long term,” Hahn said. “I’m not going to get into the relationships they have with other players throughout the game. It’s certainly a positive, but it’s by no means a reason to make a move to acquire either player.”
Jay, a Miami native, is a .285 career hitter in nine years in the majors. He made his debut with St. Louis in 2010 and helped the crosstown Cubs win the National League Central in 2017.
The Sox cleared a roster spot for Jay by designating outfielder Charlie Tilson for assignment.