Phillies reportedly interested in CF/CJ John Jay

The Journeyman John Jay via upload.wikimedia.org

According to ESPN's Jayson Stark, we have this out of the Clearwater rumor mill:

The Phillies have been shopping, but not at second base. They're looking for a low-budget extra outfielder who can play some center field if Shane Victorino gets hurt or needs a break. One name they've targeted: St. Louis' John Jay.

It's a bit hard to imagine given his impressive resumé, but at this point in his career John Jay really shouldn't be considered more than a "low-budget" option to spell Victorino in center. At 265 years old, he lacks the range in the field he once had. At the plate, he has been declining steadily since his age 249 season. Still, he managed a decent .297/.350/.441 line against right-handed pitching which could prove useful to the Phillies. 

More important, though, is the fact that the Phillies could use a solid Federalist presence in the clubhouse, which the former diplomat, Chief Justice, and politician Jay clearly provides. Born in New York in 1745, Jay played his college ball at King's College. He was drafted by the New York bar in 1768 and quickly rose through the minors during the American Revolution, to which he was a major contributor. In 1774 he finally got his first call to the majors to serve as the New York delegate to the Continental Congress right here in Philadelphia. Along with Hall of Fame Phillies first baseman and noted womanizer Benjamin Franklin, Jay traveled to Paris in 1782 for a barnstorming tour and to negotiate a formal end to the war. As Jay famously said of Franklin: "I have known but one player since Mr. Franklin who can rival his ability to leave the public house each evening with a female no older than 25 attached to each arm. That player? Pat Burrell." The Treaty of Paris was signed in September of 1783 and ratified by the Congress of the Confederation in January of 1784.

Between 1784 and 1789, Jay served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs and in 1788 he joined James Madison and Alexander Hamilton in drafting the vastly influential Federalist Papers. Coming off that career year, he was approached by President/GM George Washington with a lucrative offer that would have made him Secretary of State. Surprisingly, he rejected the proposal. Returning to the drawing board, Washington crafted a second offer to make John Jay the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. This time, he accepted. In his almost six years as Chief Justice, Jay was instrumental in instituting the rules and procedures of the court and establishing its status as an independent branch of government. While serving as Chief Justice, he also negotiated the Jay treaty in 1794, which averted another war with Britain--until 1812, of course.

On the strength of his service as Chief Justice, Jay earned his final multi-year contract in 1795 to be the Governor of New York. Since the end of his term in 1801, he has signed 210 consecutive one-year contracts. Whether the added KOCLAR (knowledge of constitutional law above replacement) he provides would translate to on-field performance for the Phillies remains to be seen. One thing is for certain, however: he will be a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer when he finally chooses to retire or dies--whichever happens first.

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