Jon Jay avoids salary arbitration with two-year deal


The St. Louis Cardinals wrapped up one of their final offseason priorities before Spring Training, agreeing to a two-year, $10.975 million deal with outfielder Jon Jay that avoids salary arbitration. With his new contract, Jay will earn a $1.25 million signing bonus, and is scheduled to make $3.5 million in the upcoming season and $6.225 million in 2016.

The 29-year old becomes the first outfielder to sign a multi-year deal with the Cardinals since Allen Craig agreed to a five-year, $31 million contract in 2013. The signing puts St. Louis in a comfortable position, as Jay’s contract situation won’t need to go through a third-party arbitration hearing next week. 

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Jay was the last of five Cardinals to avoid arbitration this offseason, as eligibles Jordan Walden, Tony Cruz, Peter Bourjos and Lance Lynn all signed new contracts before him. After competing for the starting canter field role with Bourjos last spring, Jay reproved his value to the Cardinals and gradually won more playing time.

Jay’s resume speaks for itself. In his five seasons with the Cardinals, he’s won a World Series title and has compiled a career WAR of 11.2. The lefty’s offensive and defensive game have both improved, as he’s slashed a .295 batting average while only committing 7 errors in his career with St. Louis.

Only four other Cardinals on the current 40-man roster have played in St. Louis longer than Jay, who was drafted 74th overall by the Cardinals in 2006. The deal covers his last two seasons of arbitration eligibility, meaning the outfielder will be scheduled for free agency after 2016 unless an extension is reached.