When Jon Jay left Sunday’s Nationals-Padres game with a right arm contusion after being hit by a pitch, there were at least three teams taking note of the development. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, suitors are lining up for the San Diego outfielder, who has started with a great first half this season.
Another popular trade target is Padres center fielder Jon Jay, who entered Friday hitting .292 with an NL-leading 22 doubles. Don’t be surprised if the Red Sox, Royals, and Blue Jays take an interest in him.
After looking away for a second, Jay’s BA hopped up to .296 and his league leading doubles increased to 24. Teams looking for more offense are naturally going to be attracted to a hitter having a season like that; even teams with an at times infinite amount of offense to begin with, like the Blue Jays and Red Sox. Jay being in the second year of a two-year, $10.96 million deal for which he receives $6.23 million for the 2016 season also makes him an affordable option for teams willing to spend.
The mood from Padres circles is that Jay was never going to finish the season as a Friar, and his swell of effectiveness as a hitter has only made him more valuable of an asset to San Diego. He isn’t going to be a team’s center piece, but he could serve as a supplemental source of offense who only becomes more expensive with the more interest he stirs with his hot bat - in the last month, he’s hit .325 with an .809 OPS, 37 H, and 12 2B.
The Boston depth chart has not provided a current solution to their desire for a left-handed outfield bat. Jose Bautista hitting the 15-day DL has thinned the herd in Toronto. The Royals are in the least dire situation of the three named teams, and would probably just be looking to become even more powerful for a divisional race already tight with the Indians.
The 31-year-old Jay isn’t even the only Padre getting some eyeballs, Cafardo says. Both Melvin Upton, Jr. and Wil Myers (with whom Jay is tied for the league lead in hits for the month of June) are also raising eyebrows.