Jay, Cardinals agree to two-year deal
Jon Jay, the Cardinals’ lone remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible player, has avoided a hearing by agreeing to a two-year deal worth $10.975 million. This marks the first multiyear contract of Jay’s career and will allow him to avoid the arbitration process next offseason as well.
The breakdown of the contract, according to a source, includes a $1.25 million signing bonus, $3.5 million salary for 2015 and $6.225 million salary for 2016. Jay will be free-agent eligible at the end of the deal.
Had an agreement not been reached between the two parties, Jay would have been the focus of an arbitration hearing next week. As it is, he’s the third arbitration-eligible to be awarded a multiyear deal by the Cardinals this winter. Reliever Jordan Walden and starter Lance Lynn also received more than a year-to-year guarantee.
Jay’s status within the organization changed fairly dramatically over the past year. After debuting in 2010 and becoming an everyday player in 2011, Jay opened 2014 unsure how much playing time he’d be given after the Cardinals acquired Peter Bourjos.
But Bourjos struggled in the early going, and Jay seized the opening to reassert himself as the club’s starting center fielder. He went on to lead the team with a .303 batting average while posting a .372 on-base percentage and .378 slugging percentage. He was hit 20 times, most in the Majors, and batted .483 during the postseason.
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