This time last year Matt Joyce was the Angels’ starting left fielder after being acquired from the Rays for reliever Kevin Jepsen. He flopped, hitting .174 in 93 games, and now the 31-year-old has had to settle for a minor-league deal with the Pirates.
Joyce was a consistently above-average hitter for the Rays from 2010-2014, posting a .778 OPS and making the All-Star team in 2011. He’s best suited to be a platoon player starting versus right-handed pitching, but with Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, and Gregory Polanco locked in as Pittsburgh’s starting outfield Joyce will probably be competing for a bench role.
Pittsburgh is already planning to platoon John Jaso and Michael Morse at first base, so in addition to managing only a minor-league contract Joyce also landed in a situation where a roster spot may be tough to secure.