Betancourt hit .228/.256/.400 with seven homers last season and has long been a defensive liability at short, even if he does find himself on highlight reels with the occasional spectacular play a couple times a year. Now that a team who was thinking about him at third base is out of the picture, it may be a bit harder for him to find a home.
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.