CBS Sports: Tigers should try to sign OF Jon Jay

The Detroit News

The Detroit Tigers have three outfielders on their 40-man roster, so it makes sense they could be looking to add to the position in free agency.

According to CBS Sports, one addition should be Jon Jay.

The eight-year veteran is CBS Sports’ pick for the Tigers as it gives each major-league team a free agent in a story posted Tuesday.

And, while the Tigers aren’t expected to make much of a splash in free agency — their first signing Monday was a minor-league pitcher — Jay would not only provide depth in the outfield, but a lefty for their lineup, writes R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports.

“The Tigers are rebuilding and that means that maybe this doesn’t matter, but their roster is right-handed heavy,” Anderson writes. “Adding the lefty Jon Jay would give them an ideal most-days starter who can slot in across the outfield. Maybe the Tigers would prefer to give JaCoby Jones and/or Mikie Mahtook everyday reps instead. That’s understandable. If not, that’s understandable, too.”

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Jay, who will turn 33 in March, hit .296 in 379 at-bats with the Chicago Cubs last season, with a .738 OPS. He had two home runs and 34 RBIs. He played all three outfield positions for the Cubs, including 64 games in left, and 54 in center field.

Jay has played for three different National League teams, spending his first six seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals.

In CBS Sports’ scenario, Jay would join an outfield that includes Jones, Mahtook and Nick Castellanos, who is began making the transition from third base to right field late last season.

Meanwhile, a former Tiger who was part of the last season’s sell-off, outfielder J.D. Martinez, would be a good fit in St. Louis, Anderson writes.

“Presuming the Cardinals come up short on a Giancarlo Stanton trade,” Anderson writes, “it would make a lot of sense for them to turn around and ante up for J.D. Martinez. Which is more likely? Check back in two months.”