The Oakland A's have agreed to terms with outfielder Matt Joyce on a two-year contract through the 2018 season, the club announced today. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the A's designated infielder Rangel Ravelo for assignment.
Joyce hit .242 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI in 140 games with Pittsburgh last year. He started 30 games in right field and 14 in left field, but saw most of his action as a pinch hitter, where he batted .220 with four home runs, 15 RBI and a Major League record 21 walks in 81 appearances. He led ML pinch hitters in RBI and walks, tied for the lead in home runs and ranked second in plate appearances. The 32-year-old left-handed hitter drew 59 free passes overall for a .403 on-base percentage, which was fourth best in the National League among players with 250 or more plate appearances. Joyce made 44 of his 48 starts against right-handed pitching and hit .244 against righties compared to .235 against lefties.
Joyce has spent nine seasons in the majors with four teams. He was originally selected by Detroit in the 12th round of the 2005 draft and hit .252 with 12 home runs and 33 RBI in 92 games with the Tigers in his Major League debut in 2008. Joyce was traded to Tampa Bay following the 2008 season and spent six seasons with the Rays. He batted .277 with 19 home runs and 75 RBI in 141 games in 2011, establishing career highs in all four categories and earning American League All-Star honors. Joyce also played in 93 games for the Los Angeles Angels in 2015 and is a .242 career hitter with 106 home runs and 376 RBI in 958 games.
Ravelo spent the entire 2016 season at Triple-A Nashville, where he batted .262 with eight home runs and 54 RBI in 106 games. He was one of four players acquired by the A's from the Chicago White Sox in the Jeff Samardzija trade following the 2014 season and hit .277 with 11 home runs and 96 RBI in 165 games in two seasons in the A's farm system after batting .301 with 18 home runs and 222 RBI in 421 games in five seasons in the White Sox organization.