Jay says Cubs remain hungry after title run

Jay says Cubs remain hungry after title run

MESA, Ariz. -- Jon Jay knows what it's like the season after winning a World Series, having been with the Cardinals when they won the championship in 2011. He's watching how the Cubs adjust.

"It's something that changes your life forever," Jay said on Monday. "But you see guys here who are hungry. I see what I saw from winning teams before. They're not complacent. They're getting after it and working out, and that's what you want to see."

Jay, who played for the Cardinals from 2010-15, and was with the Padres last season, signed a one-year deal in late November with the Cubs. Last year, he watched from afar as Chicago won its first World Series championship since 1908.

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"What they were able to do last year was remarkable, and I'm just trying to fit in," said Jay, who reported one week ago to get used to Arizona and the new surroundings. "You see the talent, you see the guys working. We've been out here getting to know each other and it's been great."

He's also keeping the outfielders busy. On Monday, Jay, Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber were chasing bright green tennis balls being shot out of a small device on a back field. The three outfielders were doing agility drills using a machine that fires the tennis balls at different speeds and levels. University of Miami football coaches use the device to help hand-eye coordination, and Jay and Almora have worked with it while training together in the offseason in Miami. Jay brought it from Florida for Spring Training.

It's easy to spot Jay. He's the one wearing the Miami knit cap.

"I was born and raised in Miami, and I'm a Hurricane," he said.

And now he's a Cub.

"You would never tell what they did last year, which is great," Jay said. "They're looking forward to this year, everything we've been talking about is this year and guys are out here working and that's what you want to see.

"Expectations are great," he said. "I think that pressure is good for us. I got accustomed to that in St. Louis. When people expect things of you, that's when you play your best baseball. I think guys are capable of that and they showed it last year. They had a target on their back all year and they were able to do what they were able to do. Using that experience this year will be good."

• Left-hander David Rollins, who has had a busy offseason transactions-wise, cleared waivers on Monday. He will be a non-roster invitee in camp this spring.

Rollins was first claimed off waivers by the Cubs on Nov. 18, but four days later, he was selected off waivers by the Rangers. On Dec. 2, Rollins was claimed off waivers by the Phillies. On Dec. 14, he posted on Twitter: "What a roller coaster this off season has been." His time with the Phillies didn't last long. On Dec. 21, the Rangers selected him again off waivers, and two days later, the Cubs claimed the lefty for a second time.

But Rollins was designated for assignment last Wednesday to open a roster spot when the Cubs acquired Alec Mills from the Royals for Minor League outfielder Donnie Dewees. Now, he's back with the Cubs.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.