All right, so it wasn’t exactly when you were sleeping, but some random news and notes to get a jump on your do-we-get-our-Manny-news-today Tuesday ...
The #Whitesox have agreement with free agent outfielder Jon Jay. He must complete physical for it to become official. So the Sox now have Manny Machado’s brother in law, Yonder Alonso, and close friend, Jay, on the team as they have offer on table for Machado.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 8, 2019
As pointed out in SSS comments last night, all jokes aside, at least the Jay signing attacks an area of need, and can stand on its own merit vis-à-vis the Yonder Alonso Cleveland Payroll Bailout Trade for a Second DH.
In addition to being Manny Machado’s “close friend,” Jay can also play a little. He sort of fell off a cliff when he hit age 30, but averaged 2.2 bWAR in 483 PAs in his first five seasons before that.
Jay’s closest career B-R player comp, at a pretty dead-on 95.1%, is ... Scott Podsednik. And for those of you still lamenting the loss of Matt Davidson, Jay also holds a career 0.00 ERA.
It seems as if worst case, Jay can fill a nice role as a veteran fourth outfielder, filling in at all three outfield positions. Better case? At least a platoon with Adam Engel in center, eating up all at-bats vs. righthanders (although, to be honest, Jay’s time as a pure CF is long gone, and he now seems more suited for a corner than center field). Best case? Jay has one of those 2.8 WAR seasons left in him, slashing .300/.350/.375 with revitalized D and some leadership of a young outfield.
Bestest case? Jay flanks Machado’s corner locker along with Yonder Alonso in the clubhouse of Sox Park, because this move somehow is the final step in drawing Manny to the South Side.
And, in the category of long-ago-friends-who-briefly-revisited-but-are-now-gone-for-good, minor league free agent Gregory Infante signed with the Baltimore Orioles. You can hardly blame Infante for moving on, as Baltimore probably guaranteed him a spot in its rotation, or DH reps, or something.
Infante made it up to the White Sox for five games in 2010, then took seven seasons to make it back, during which he toured the systems of Los Angeles, Toronto and Philadelphia. In that 2017 comeback season on the South Side, Infante was nails out of the pen, putting up a 3.13 ERA/3.58 FIP in 52 games.
Infante couldn’t match that performance in 2018, scoring an 8.00 ERA in 10 games. He spent almost the entire season toiling with the Charlotte Knights, where he had nine saves but a 4.50 ERA. Most recently, he had a decent run (3.60 ERA, 11 saves) with the Tiburones de La Guaira in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he was managed by his very first major league manager, Ozzie Guillén.