Jon Jay signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs for $8 million prior to the 2017 season. A contract of that worth, according to some dollar-per-win models, equates to just a tad below one win above replacement. So, in a sense, the Cubs basically signed Jay to produce one incremental win.
The utility outfielder’s WAR has easily surpassed that benchmark and now stands at 1.6 going into an imminent division-clinching series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Jay has filled in nicely across all outfield positions — to the tune of a .333 wOBA — and was essential during the injuries of Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell.
Much has been made about Jay’s role going forward this postseason, especially his use as the leadoff hitter. Regardless, Jay has earned our praise. Without him, it’s possible the Cubs aren’t in the same favorable position they find themselves today.