You’ll recall that LaRoche had previously turned down a two-year, $17.5 million offer from the Giants. Add in the facts that (a) San Francisco is a way cooler place to live than Phoenix; and (b) the Giants stand a better shot at competing for the division and, I think we can call LaRoche’s offseason strategy to have been something approaching a total failure.
Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.
The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.