According to Ken Rosenthal, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed outfielder Matt Joyce to a minor league deal. Joyce has played eight seasons in the majors, spending 2015 with the Angels, where he hit .174/.272/.291 in 93 games. Prior to that, he never had an OPS below .732 in his first seven seasons. His time in the outfield has been split almost evenly between left field and right field during his career.
Joyce suffered a concussion in late July last year and dealt with back issues in early August, spending five weeks on the disabled list. After returning in September, he was used strictly as a pinch-hitter, receiving just six plate appearances.
Joyce has hit as many as 19 homers in the majors, so he has shown power in the past. That was in 2011 with the Tampa Bay Rays. He followed that up with 17 homers in 2012 and 18 the next year. He is a lefty bat, who really struggled in limited chances against lefties last year, going 1-for-21. While he was never that bad in previous years, he has always performed much better against right-handed pitching, posting a .795 OPS in his career.
If the 2015 season proves to be a fluke, then the 31-year-old Joyce would be the best fourth outfielder option for the Pirates at this point. If not, he’s only there on a minor league deal, so no harm seeing what he may be able to provide.
Source: Free-agent OF Matt Joyce to #Pirates on minor-league contract.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 18, 2016