Certainly, most people will consider the Tigers to be the winner of last winter's Edwin Jackson-for-Matt Joyce swap, given that Jackson finally was able to get a handle on his impressive power stuff and have the breakout that analysts had been talking about before he was legally able to drink.
But people seem to be quickly forgetting that Matt Joyce is actually an awfully good player. In 2008, after posting a .270/.352/.550 line in 227 PA in AAA, he was called up to Detroit and posted an impressive .252/.339/.492 line in 277 PA. He had some trouble with strikeouts, but his walk rate was solid, and he's an above average defender in right and left field.
In spite of this, after being traded to Tampa, he was quickly demoted to AAA, where he would toil for the majority of the season, getting only 37 PA with the Rays. His offensive performance wasn't as impressive superficially, he posted a .273/.373/.482 line with Durham, but he improved his walk rate while cutting down on his strikeout rate, and he still showed plus power, so it's tough to argue that Joyce regressed in any way.
I just don't see how this guy can still be in the minor leagues any longer. Not only is he a patient hitter with some pop, but he's an above average defender that's had success at the ML level for a relatively significant period of time, and he's continued to thrive in AAA.
Considering that he's not due to become a free agent until after the 2014 season, he could be a great addition to some team if he doesn't get a spot on the Rays. Given that Ben Zobrist will likely take over as Tampa's permanent everyday second baseman next year, I wouldn't be surprised to see Joyce as Tampa's everyday right fielder to start next season, with an eye on moving him to left field when Desmond Jennings is ready and Carl Crawford departs, whether that's through a trade or free agency.
But if the Rays aren't willing to commit to Joyce as an everyday outfielder now, then he could be a great acquisition for some team that's in need of a long-term solution in a corner outfield spot.
Please, somebody give this guy an everyday job.