Cardinals sign center fielders Jay, Bourjos

News-DemocratJanuary 18, 2014 

— The St. Louis Cardinals on Friday came to terms with center fielders Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos, thus avoiding arbitration.

Jay will be paid $3.25 million in 2014; Bourjos will receive $1.2 million. Bourjos was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in November as part of the trade for third baseman David Freese.

Although Jay set a franchise record by playing in 245 consecutive games without and error (Aug. 25, 2011 to July 29, 2013), his range diminished last season. Offensively, his .276 average was the lowest of his career, but he established personal-bests in hits (151), runs scored (75), walks (52), RBIs (67) and doubles (27).

Bourjos, who batted .274 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in an injury-marred 2013 season, is expected to log the majority of the playing time in center field. Bourjos' defense is superior to Jay's, and the Cardinals are hopeful for an uptick at the plate.

Bourjos is a right-handed hitter while Jay bats from the left side.

Infielder Daniel Descalso is the lone remaining arbitration-eligible player. Descalso, who batted .238 with a career-high 25 doubles, five homers and 43 RBIs last season, is expected to come to terms without a hearing.

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