Matt Joyce to Athletics: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2016

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 29: Matt Joyce #17 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during batting practice before their game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on July 29, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Brewers defeated the Pirates 3-1. (Photo by John Konstantaras/Getty Images)
John Konstantaras/Getty Images

Outfielder Matt Joyce found a new home Wednesday, as he signed a two-year, $11 million contract with the Oakland Athletics

The team announced the move after Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was the first to report the deal.

Joyce, 32, hit .242 with 13 home runs, 45 runs and 42 RBI in 140 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2016 season. It was his sixth season with at least 10 or more homers, though his batting average matched his mediocre lifetime average of .242.

That said, Joyce posted an excellent .403 on-base percentage and struck out just 67 times in 231 at-bats. In turn, he was fantastic for the Pirates as the team's fourth outfielder, making him a valuable addition to Oakland's depth.

And if Joyce continues to produce like he did in limited plate appearances in 2016, he may just earn himself a steadier dose of playing time.

The A's have long embraced the Moneyball system under general manager Billy Beane, and the fact that Joyce registered a career-best OBP in 2016 likely endeared him to the organization.

Certainly, there will be concerns that Joyce could sink back to his 2015 form, which saw him hit just .174 with five homers and 21 RBI in 93 games with the Los Angeles Angels. But Joyce appeared to make significant changes to his approach at the plate in 2016, and it paid major dividends.

Now, Oakland will be hoping to cash in on those alterations.

Joyce is far removed from the career season he put up with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, when he hit .277 with 19 home runs and 75 RBI en route to his first and only All-Star nod, but he seemingly fits what the Athletics are trying to do at a reasonable price.

Although Joyce isn't likely to put up huge numbers, he should provide an upgrade to an outfield that lacked in terms of production and experience outside of Khris Davis in 2016.

    

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