According to Ken Rosenthal, the Pirates have agreed to terms with Matt Joyce on a minor league deal.
Source: Free-agent OF Matt Joyce to #Pirates on minor-league contract.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 18, 2016
Just a few years ago, Joyce was one of the many success stories of the Tampa Bay Rays. He was never an elite prospect, but worked his way to the major league level and thrived. From 2010 to 2014, he posted an above average wRC+, as well as an above average wOBA. He was never an huge power threat, but for three consecutive seasons, he hit at least 18 home runs, and helped lengthen Tampa's lineup.
Unfortunately his success came to a screeching halt in 2015, as he hit .174/.272/.291 with a wOBA of .255 and a wRC+ of 62. His hard hit percentage plummeted last season, as it was just 24.6 percent in 2015, compared to 31.0 percent in 2014; a drop of 20.6 percent.
Pittsburgh's outfield is one of MLB's best, but it's possible that Joyce could work his way onto the 25-man roster with a strong spring. Sean Rodrigues and John Jaso are listed as possible outfielders in left and right, but neither one spent considerable time there in 2015.
If Joyce can prove that his struggles are behind him, he could provide valuable depth for Pittsburgh, as he can play left and right field adequately. He's just one season removed from being an above average major league hitter, and if he can return to 2014 form, this is a fantastic signing for Pittsburgh.