The Cleveland Indians have signed free agent outfielder Matt Joyce. The specifics of the deal are not yet known — the story was broken this morning by Matt Joyce, himself — but I would assume it was a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to spring training.
The Tribe are the 10-year veteran’s sixth team over the course of his career, much of which was spent in Tampa Bay. Joyce spent the last two seasons in Oakland, and missed nearly half of last season due to injuries. He is a left-handed hitter who, if he makes the Opening Day roster, will very rarely face a southpaw on the mound, based on his splits.
ATC, Depth Charts, and Steamer all expect Joyce to produce at least 104 wRC+ for 2019, according to FanGraphs, which is more than any other outfielder currently battling for pole position on the Indians’ roster. So take that for what it’s worth.
This kind of low-rent free agent signing has become a staple of the Cleveland front office in recent years. Let’s hope Joyce can join the ranks of Rajai Davis and Austin Jackson as a surprisingly productive member of the Indians’ outfield.