Given the state of affairs in Chicago sports after last night, there wasn’t anywhere left to go but up, and with baseball on the horizon, a free agent announcement is just the spoonful of medicine to cure what ails us, however minor it may be.

The White Sox appear to have a deal with free-agent outfield Jon Jay according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the White Sox interest in Jay earlier in the night and sprinkled a little extra seasoning on the deal for White Sox fans.

Jay has played for six teams in eight seasons, none of which have been particularly stunning. He closed three seasons with a batting average above .300 and has never reached 100 runs batted in or slugged more than 10 home runs. Where Jay excels is in on-base percentage. For all his pedestrian statistics, he has a career .352 OBP with a .729 OPS.

Ken Rosenthal confirmed Nightengale’s report later in on Monday night.

The subtext to this deal was picked up by Rosenthal in a Players Tribune piece that detailed the close companionship between Manny Machado, Yonder Alonso and Jay. The article lets the trio of baseball-brothers explain what the Miami baseball community, as well as the three amigos (if they’ll permit me this one indulgence), mean to each other.

Jay writes that he and Alonso knew Machado from a young age and watched him develop. Alsono writes that the group sticks to together and is well known amongst other big leaguers.

“We all play on different teams now, but everyone knows we have a special bond. When one of these guys comes to town, my teammates will be like, “Look out … the Miami crew is here.” We’ll pick each other up at the airport! Everybody just knows how it is. Miami guys stick together. “

With two-thirds of this band of brothers converging on the south side of Chicago and Machado still mulling over his decision on where to play next, there’s an easily detectable thread of optimism for the Sox to reel in Machado. White Sox GM Rick Hahn mentioned earlier in the offseason that players have different values in making big decisions, and he named family (a wife’s family specifically) as on factor a player was considering in choosing where to sign.

Could this be Machado given his wife is Alonso’s sister? And does having Jay along with him for the ride make sweeten the deal to a degree? We can only hope so.

One final thought: Given what we know about the White Sox history with Cuban players and collection of elite, young Cuban prospects in the system, the idea of Jay and Alonso swaying Machado toward Chicago might be more real than we understand.

Via Jon Jay in the Player’s Tribune

“I think one of the things that brings us together is the fact that we all grew up in this unique Latin culture where everyone kind of takes care of one another. Yonder was born in Cuba. Both my parents were born in Cuba. And Manny’s parents are from the Dominican Republic. For us, Miami is like our own little country where these cultures come together.”