While they haven’t struck a deal yet, the Mariners are in discussions with free-agent outfielder Jon Jay, and there is reportedly “some momentum” for Jay to end up in the Pacific Northwest, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
After a pair of injury-ravaged seasons with the Cardinals and Padres in 2015 and 2016, the 32-year-old Jay bounced back this past season with the Cubs while playing all three outfield positions as part of a rotation that also included Albert Almora Jr., Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, and Ian Happ. Over 433 plate appearances, Jay hit .296/.374/.375 with two homers.
While Jay’s strong season boosted his free-agent value, it likely decreased his chances of returning to the Cubs, as Chicago already has plenty of outfielders and needs to have some cash available to restock its starting rotation this offseason. In Seattle, though, Jay would be able to conserve his energy similarly to the way he did in Chicago, as the Mariners already have Ben Gamel, Guillermo Heredia, and Mitch Haniger in the outfield.
With Jarrod Dyson a free agent after starting 99 games—87 in center and 12 in left—in 2017, Seattle could use a fourth outfielder type to fill a role similar to Dyson’s next season, and of the guys on the free-agent market this offseason, there’s arguably no one better equipped to do that than Jay.