Cubs bring aboard OF Jon Jay

ByJesse Rogers ESPN logo
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

CHICAGO -- 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 tweeted out his reaction Tuesday night.

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, theholdovers 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.