The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have signed outfielder Jon Jay to a one-year free agent contract for the 2018 season. Jay will wear uniform #25. In a corresponding roster move, the Royals have placed right-handed pitcher Jesse Hahn on the 60-day disabled list (right ulnar collateral ligament sprain). Hahn will be eligible for reinstatement on May 28.
Jay, 32, a left-handed hitting outfielder from Miami, Fla., spent the 2017 season with the Chicago Cubs, recording a .296 batting average with 18 doubles, three triples, two homers, 34 RBI and a .374 on-base percentage in 141 games. He batted .358 (19-for-53) with a .435 on-base percentage and a .888 OPS in 53 games off the bench. That included going 13-for-40 (.325) as a pinch-hitter, ranking sixth in the National League. Jay also went the entire season without committing an error (141 chances). He enters the 2018 season with a streak of 189 contests without an error (319 chances), dating back to April 15, 2016.
An eight-year Major League veteran, Jay has played with the St. Louis Cardinals (2010-15), San Diego Padres (2016) and Chicago Cubs (2017). He’s a career .288 hitter (889-for-3,082) with 439 runs scored, 157 doubles, 18 triples, 33 homers 287 RBI and 51 stolen bases in 988 career games. He’s batted .290 or better in six of his eight seasons. Jay owns a .996 career fielding percentage, which the highest mark by any active outfielder that has played at least 500 Major League games.