Assessment of the John Jaso Signing

By Jason Shetler

On Wednesday, the Pirates agreed to terms with John Jaso on a two-year deal worth $8 million. General manager Neal Huntington said that Jaso would be in a first base platoon with Michael Morse to begin 2016. 

Throughout his big league career, Jaso has been an on base machine, putting up a .361 on base percentage along with a 12.6% walk rate in seven seasons. In 2015, he posted an .839 OPS with an OPS+ of 132 in 70 games for the Tampa Bay Rays. Jaso has been a catcher in the past, and can serve as an emergency backup to Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart. While Jaso has played just two games at first base, he doesn’t have the throwing yips like Pedro Alvarez has. In addition, Jaso should be able to pick balls easily with being a catcher before. Although Jaso is signed for two years, the Pirates can use his strong on base ability off the bench once Josh Bell becomes the regular first baseman in 2017. 

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