ST. LOUIS, Mo. (BaseballStL)- The St. Louis Cardinals reached a deal with outfielder Jon Jay Monday, giving him a two-year deal that allows the club to avoid a salary arbitration hearing that was scheduled for next week. Jay concludes the signing of arbitration-eligible players for the Cardinals.
The left-handed hitting Jay owns a career .295 batting average, ranking eight among Major League outfielders during his five-season span.
Jay earned the starting position in 2014 after beginning the season primarily as a role player behind 2014 newcomer Peter Bourjos.
Jay took the starting spot after Bourjos' slow start, and eventually hit for a team-best .303 batting average and batted .483 during the postseason, recording the second-highest postseason average in MLB history.
Jay has also been a stability defensively in the Cardinals' outfield, becoming just the third Cardinal outfielder all-time to play errorless for an entire season when he did so in 2012.
2012 wasn't a fluke, however, as Jay leads all Cardinals outfielders with a .995 fielding percentage since 2010 and recorded a franchise-record 245-game errorless streak by an outfielder from Aug. 25, 2011 to July 29, 2013.
Jay is expected to be the Cardinals' starting centerfielder in 2015 and will give the Cardinals reliability at multiple spots in the batting order.