White Sox signing Jon Jay for Manny reasons(Keith Allison / Flickr)

White Sox signing Jon Jay for Manny reasons

The pending deal would be the second acquisition this winter with close ties to Machado

Nobody can accuse the White Sox of playing their pursuit of Manny Machado too close to the vest.

After going out of their way to acquire Manny Machado’s brother-in-law, Bob Nightengale says the White Sox have signed another member of Machado’s crew in outfielder Jon Jay.

The deal is for one year and $4 million, which would make him the highest-paid White Sox outfielder thus far.

Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray of The Athletic were the first to report the pursuit of Jay. I didn’t realize it initially, but those familiar with Machado or having the immediate inclination to Google such things found this article about Machado, Alonso and Jay’s Miami baseball brotherhood in The Players’ Tribune.

Here’s how that opens:

For Jon, Yonder and I, Miami means family, good friends, culture and … baseball.

Each winter we meet up in our hometown and we go to work. We laugh a lot, too, and have fun together. At the end of the day, though, we’re there to put in work and to get better at baseball.

We do it for ourselves, of course, and for the love of the game. But we also do it for the city we call home, this place we each love. We want to be the best. We want to make Miami proud.  

—Manny Machado

Whether Jay makes real sense in baseball terms for the White Sox comes down to whether he can play any center. He can be a sturdy fourth outfielder if so, because he gets on base at an above-average rate and played right field well enough to garner Gold Glove consideration with Arizona last year after his trade from Kansas City. However, he made only 25 of his 118 appearances in center during the 2018 season.

Like Alonso, he’d be another seemingly low-upside use of a roster spot if this is all there is. But as is the case with Alonso, the baseball skills are a secondary consideration as long as a particular bigger deal remains a possibility. While I’d hoped to see the White Sox use their vacant MLB roster spots to give blocked prospects a chance to audition, using them instead to recruit the game’s biggest free agent falls within the ends justifying the means.

Given the Sox’ lack of MLB-caliber outfielders — especially ones who can defend a corner — the Sox can live with any Jay treaty if it ends up facilitating commerce with Machado.

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Patrick Nolan
Editor

Here’s hoping the Jay treaty works out far better than Jay’s Treaty

Trooper Galactus
Member

I like it, even before considering the Manny connection. Not a big financial commitment, good OBP, helps bridge the gap in center field until somebody from the minors can step up. In an offseason where Patrick Corbin was about the only really good CF option, and given his heavy injury risk, I’m good with a low risk/low reward fill-in. Whatever limits Adam Engel’s plate appearances, I guess.

Right Size Wrong Shape
Member

*AJ Pollock

Trooper Galactus
Member

God dammit, I keep doing that and I have no idea why. Thanks for the correction.

As Cirensica
Member

You can edit posts…

Trooper Galactus
Member

Only for a limited time, and I didn’t see that until well after time expired.

Joliet Orange Sox
Member

Patrick Corbin tops Shohei Otani because he pitches, hits, AND covers CF!

yolmers gatorade
Member

The French call it raison d’Manny

ParisSox
Member

*Raison de Manny

karkovice squad
Member

Raison d’Hommey

milkohol
Member

After 2018 I guess I can’t complain about a cromulent outfielder.

MrStealYoBase
Member

Between Jay, Engel, Palka, Leury, Delmonico, Cordell, and Tilson, the White Sox are going to find out if 7 fourth outfielders can equal 2 starting outfielders.

(By my math it only comes out to 1.75)

Otter
Member

Kind of hard to dislike this deal; 1/$4m for an obvious need is swell.

Otter
Member

BTW, I don’t totally hate the Sox offseason even if it’s kind of odd. My biggest issue is the opportunity cost that waiting for Machadao (and I guess Harper) to make up their minds. They have every right to do this, but I do think it’s cost the Sox a shot at Puig (though he’d be a UFA after 2019).

Ideally the Sox would use their low payroll for a high priced salary and land a good young player for their troubles instead of trading for Alonso/signing Herrera. And that may still happen. But MLB also isn’t the NBA where you can pick up an asset by taking on a bad contract. Unless I’m missing one, it seems like every bad contract trade involves another bad contract going the other way (the two Matt Kemp deals), thus mitigating the prospects/young players that are also moved with the bad contract.

roke1960
Member

If they add Manny, this has been a very successful winter. At least he’s a major league outfielder. That makes one now. Two when Eloy comes up

Trooper Galactus
Member

I’m REALLY hoping any concerns with Eloy’s defense are unfounded.

MrStealYoBase
Member

Fangraphs have him pegged for 18 runs created with the bat and -7 with the glove. Hoping that’s based mostly off the tepid scouting reports and he can at least hold his own in the field.

GreatjonHumber
Member

 Nothing approximately 3 weeks in Charlotte can’t fix. 

roke1960
Member

Now Manny, a good right fielder (Harper?), and a fifth starter, and we can call it a winter.

shaggy65
Member

I don’t see how this makes us better than Engel and Leury. We’d better get Machado.

Trooper Galactus
Member

2017-18

Jay: 1019 PAs, .279/.349/.359, 1.8 bWAR
Engel: 799 PAs, .207/.260/.314, -0.3 bWAR
Leury: 601 PAs, .271/.310/.401, 2.0 bWAR

Given Leury’s constant state of injury, not to mention his offensive numbers being propped up by a 2017 power surge he hasn’t been able to maintain, I’m comfortable with a placeholder like Jay who can provide at least a baseline for OBP and reasonable reliability health-wise.

shaggy65
Member

2nd Half of 2018

Jay: .245/.292/.327
Engel: .260/.287/.381

On this club I’d rather be playing the youth on the rise than the veteran on the decline.

But your point is well-taken on Leury. Injury-prone and nothing special. It’s probably a good sign that we’re now willing to pay to do better, I’m just not sure Jay still qualifies. Shades of Dioner Navarro…

As Cirensica
Member

Jay only had 172 PAs in the 2nd half. This is cherry picking.

Jason.Wade17
Member

Not to mention, its cherry picking a half a season where one player had a much higher than normal Babip and one had a much smaller than normal Babip.
During that time, each players xba:
Engel: .195
Jay: .273

Otter
Member

Jay replaces Avi. Less upside, but higher floor at a cheaper price.

Alonso effectively replaces Davidson, who is better but costs a lot more and probably eats into Palka at bats which isn’t ideal.

Nova replaces Shields, again better for less money.

The relievers are better than pick whomever you want that they’re replacing. They do cost more, but they should be moveable if they’re pitching well and the Sox decide to go that route in July.

The turd in the punchbowl is McCann which is a horrible way to spend $2.5m.

KenWo4LiFe
Member

At least mccann has a gun for a team that gave up a million stolen bases last year i suppose.

Trooper Galactus
Member

If he posts a .581 OPS again, I doubt you’ll be praising his arm.

karkovice squad
Member

This ain’t your father’s White Sox nepotism: not just for drafting employees’ kids, anymore.

In addition to the sales pitch, maybe the Sox also deserve credit for thinking about how they can reshape the clubhouse to set Manny up for success and avoid the free agency hangovers of recent vintage. Maybe that’s worth some roster/resource inefficiency for a year or two. A better (or at least likely less costly) approach than trading prospects to get him ahead of free agency.

Gutteridge70
Member

yep

PopeDonnPall
Member

Never mind the Manny ties to Jay, let’s get down to the real question everyone’s asking:

Who gets cut from the 40 man to make room for Herrera and Jay? I’m feeling maybe Vieira and Tilson.

Think Clarkin survives because they just got him back from Cubs, Cordell gets slight nod over Tilson for possessing some degree of pop and Rick did make a point of saying other teams had called about him last spring training.

zerobs
Member

If it were me Banuelos and Cordell would be the victims. If Hahn is getting calls on Cordell then he should just ask for international bonus money and be done with it.

KenWo4LiFe
Member

why in the hell would he be getting calls on cordell? But i’m guessing tilson and clarkin

dansomeone
Member

Not sure the interest is still there for Cordell after the atrocious season he just had.

dansomeone
Member

They just acquired Banuelos and haven’t even seen what he can do for them. He’s not going anywhere.

gibby32
Member

Not Banuelos. Currently, he may well be their fifth starter, although that is likely to change before April.

Trooper Galactus
Member

With Herrera, Jones, Colome, Minaya, Fulmer, Hamilton, Burr, Burdi, Ruiz, and a bevy of other RH bullpen options, I’m not sure they’re too concerned about possibly losing Vieira. The guy’s control just hasn’t come around, and he still doesn’t generate strikeouts despite his power arsenal.

As Cirensica
Member

This might be, my favorite White Sox move this winter. If we sign Machado, with Eloy, and a good bullpen, this team might even surprise more than one.

If we sign Machado.

HouseOfTheRisingSox
Member

I can’t decide if this is really creative or extremely desperate. Either way I just wish Manny’s friends and family were better at baseball. And if we DON’T get Machado, what’s the plan? I’m assuming we have to get the cubs to take Castillo, Alonso, and Jay for Kris Bryant so we can pivot to Harper.

karkovice squad
Member

A floor wax and a dessert topping.

ParisSox
Member

Nicely done

Trooper Galactus
Member

The greatest shine you’ve ever tasted.

asinwreck
Member

Looking forward to Hahn picking up Ryan Franklin, Fernando Rodney, and Josh Harrison, and hiring John Hart for the front office.

zerobs
Member

This is like Wade, Bosh, and James all signing with Miami except that all three of them were good players. So it’s more like signing two Jack Haleys for Dennis Rodman.

KenWo4LiFe
Member

Jay and Alonso can play a bit. I don’t like the Alonso move on it’s own because I’d rather see Palka play in that spot but it isn’t like he sucks. He’s a major league hitter. And Jay is a major league outfielder that will shield me from Adam Engel at bats. So I’m ok with it.

gibby32
Member

Palka will play a lot of right. And I’m ok with it. He started out there atrociously, but he became passable as the season wore on.

Trooper Galactus
Member

…he did?

Willardmarshall
Member

What precedents are there for this kind of recruitment technique?

As Cirensica
Member

Catcher – pitching tandem is not that uncommon. I remember the Braves signing Eduardo Perez just because Greg Maddux wanted him as his catcher.

zerobs
Member

David Ross for Jon Lester, Chris Giminez for Yu Darvish.

karkovice squad
Member

Griffey, Jr. and Griffey, Sr.

Adam and Drake.

asinwreck
Member

The White Sox kept a seat on the bench warm for Hank Allen when Dick Allen was on the team.

Sophist
Member

And don’t forget ken Henderson and Steve Henderson 

Marty34
Member

If the Sox sign Machado they are setting themselves up for problems in the clubhouse down the road by signing his friends. Over/under on the first whispers of dissension August 1st.

zerobs
Member

Which means the perfect reason to replace Renteria.

Marty34
Member

Unless Ricky becomes a friend of Manny.

As Cirensica
Member

Nah….

StockroomSnail
Member

Surely Manny can also GM for what they’d be paying him?

GrinnellSteve
Member

January 7, 2019: the day the White Sox got serious about winning the 2019 World Series.

asinwreck
Member

Old friend alert in Baltimore.

Right-hander Gregory Infante agreed to a minor league deal with the #Orioles, I'm told. Spent the past two seasons with #WhiteSox,

— Steve Adams (@Adams_Steve) January 8, 2019

jorgefabregas
Member

So if Manny signs an eight year contract, does that mean the Sox have to sign Castillo, Alonso, and Jay to seven year extensions? 🙂

fustercluck
Member

they go year-to-year on the Machado posse until they’re ready for him to opt out

jorgefabregas
Member

Each of these guys has roughly 2-3 years left in their major league career in my estimation. Maybe one will last longer and one may be done after 2019. I don’t think they could carry them even three years. I’m assuming their plan is a soft landing spot and they figure Manny will make other friends on the team. Feel kind of silly writing this, as if he’s a childish malcontent or something. He’s certainly had conflicts, but I don’t recall him having them with his own team.

Sophist
Member

Doesn’t manny want to Spring training in Florida?  Maybe this softens that blow—buddies in AZ. 

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