Bill Baer

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 26:  Outfielder Jon Jay #25 of the San Diego Padres poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Sports Complex on February 26, 2016 in Peoria, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Cubs sign Jon Jay to a one-year, $8 million deal

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The Cubs have signed outfielder Jon Jay to a one-year, $8 million contract on Tuesday evening, Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago reports.

Jay, 31, had a solid 2016 campaign, batting .291/.339/.389 with 26 doubles in 374 plate appearances. He was limited to only 90 games due to a fracture in his right forearm.

The Cubs lost center fielder Dexter Fowler to free agency. Unless the Cubs bring Fowler back — which is unlikely at this point — or make another comparable addition, Jay figures to platoon with Albert Almora, Jr. in center.

Report: Blue Jays “making a push” for Jay Bruce

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Jay Bruce #19 of the New York Mets reacts after striking out in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 22, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are among several teams making a push for Mets outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mets signed free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on Tuesday afternoon, giving them four starting-caliber outfielders for three positions. Bruce, no surprise, is expected to be the odd man out.

Bruce, 29, had a terrific start to the 2016 season, smacking 25 homers with 80 RBI and an .875 OPS in 402 plate appearances with the Reds. After the Mets acquired him, however, his production tanked. In 187 PA with his new team, Bruce hit only eight homers with 19 RBI and a .685 OPS. Bruce has been an above-average hitter for much of his nine-year career and he’s still young enough to expect him to return to his previous form. The veteran is owed $13 million for the 2017 season.

The Blue Jays need some help in the corner outfield with outfielder Jose Bautista still in free agency. Melvin Upton, Jr. and Ezequiel Carrera are their current top options in left and right field. Needless to say, Bruce would be an upgrade.

Rick Porcello, Anthony Rendon win Comeback Player of the Year Awards

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 06:  Rick Porcello #22 of the Boston Red Sox throws a pitch in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians during game one of the American League Divison Series at Progressive Field on October 6, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
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Red Sox starter Rick Porcello and Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon were announced as the winners of the Comeback Player of the Year Awards for their respective leagues, Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday.

Porcello, 27, had mostly struggled as a starter in his first seven seasons in the majors, culminating with a career-worst 4.92 ERA in 2015. The right-hander bounced back in 2016, putting up a 22-4 record with a 3.15 ERA and a 189/32 K/BB ratio in 223 innings en route to winning the American League Cy Young Award. That came with a bit of controversy.

Rendon, 26, looked like he would be a perennial MVP candidate after a strong showing in 2014. However, he struggled to a .707 OPS and battled injuries in 2015, limiting him to 80 games. This past season, Rendon hit .270/.348/.450 with 20 home runs, 85 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 647 plate appearances. It’s a nice turnaround for a player the Nationals will soon have to consider signing to a contract extension.