Jon Jay is officially a member of the White Sox. Next on the to-do list? Complete the "Miami Baseball Brotherhood" with mega free agent Manny Machado.
That still hasn't happened, as Machado has gone more than nine days into 2019 without picking between the White Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees. If he were to choose to sign up with Jay, good friend and winter workout buddy, and Yonder Alonso, good friend and winter workout buddy and brother-in-law, and the White Sox, that would be the start of a brand new era of baseball on the South Side.
An era now officially underway is the one specifically involving Jay, who figures to play a large role in the team's outfield plans during the 2019 season. While the biggest addition there will be Eloy Jimenez once he arrives from the minor leagues a couple weeks into April, Jay provides an offensive upgrade and a defensive upgrade in the wake of the non-tendering of Avisail Garcia. He's a high on-base guy who can give the White Sox more of the kinds of at-bats they're hoping to see from their young players. And alongside Adam Engel, he gives the White Sox a pair of 2018 Gold Glove finalists in the outfield.
Daniel Palka will probably still get his opportunities in right field, especially if his dedication to improving his defense pays off after a 27-homer rookie season. But those perhaps won't be quite as prevalent now that Jay is in the fold.
Jay's biggest contributions, though, will likely come off the field. He earns rave reviews as a positive clubhouse presence, another thing the White Sox needed as the rest of their roster is young and getting younger. He can lean on his wealth of playoff experience from his time with the Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals and show the youngsters how to do things the right way, something that will surely be appreciated by manager Rick Renteria and the White Sox front office.
One era that appears to be ending with Jay's official addition to the roster, though, is the one involving Charlie Tilson, who was designated for assignment as the corresponding move. While the loss of Tilson — the Wilmette native who slashed .264/.331/.292 in only 41 big league games last season — might not be a huge one, it's the start of a 40-man roster crunch that will take place over the remainder of the offseason. The White Sox have been active, so perhaps there aren't too many more additions to be made. But there's the possibility of Machado coming to the South Side and the need for one more starting pitcher, at the very least, which means Tilson is likely not the last person to lose his 40-man spot this winter.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.