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White Sox sign outfielder Jon Jay

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported last night that the White Sox have agreed to terms with Jon Jay, pending a physical. It’s a one-year, $4 million deal.

Jay, who will turn 34 in March, hit .268/.330/.347 with three homers for the Royals and Diamondbacks last season. That’s not great but then again neither are the White Sox’ current outfield options. A side note to this is that, apparently, Jay, along is tight with Manny Machado and trains with him in the offseason. As does fellow White Sox signee Yonder Alonso, who is actually Machado’s brother-in-law. Some have characterized the acquisition of those two as another step in the “recruitment” of Machado.

Which, sure, I imagine might be something that’d make Machado think kind thoughts about the White Sox, but it also seems like those kind thoughts would be limited. Machado is looking to sign a very long term deal. Jay and Alonso are gonna be in Chicago for a year or two, tops. I can’t imagine that is anything approaching as big a factor in where Machado signs as money, years and the prospect of winning are. But I also suppose it doesn’t hurt.

Either way, it’s a slow January and we gotta talk about somethin’. This is more interesting to talk about than a lot of other stuff.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).