September 1, 2014

Sporting News Calls It: Andruw Jones Career Possibly Over

AJ1
OK, so everyone likes to hate on Andruw Jones these days. We’re certainly no strangers to this activity here at dodgerfan.net, but The Sporting News had a great take on the contract restructuring and its implications to doing a deal prior to Spring Training:

Jones so wants out of Los Angeles that he agreed to restructure the final year of his contract. He came to understand that the Dodgers couldn’t trade him if he was still owed $22 million in 2009.

Now he’ll take $5 million in base pay in 2009 instead of $15 million and will get the rest of his money paid out at zero interest over 15 years.
If the Dodgers can’t trade him by the end of spring training, they’ve agreed to release him.

The Reds and Braves are among the teams believed to be interested in Jones, but they have zero incentive to make a deal. Even if they do not have to give up any significant players in a trade, they know they might be able get him for the major league minimum of $400,000 after the Dodgers release him.
Moreover, there’s no sign that he’s determined to get better. He’s hitting less than .100 in winter ball and still looks lost at the plate.
If nothing else, he’s worth keeping an eye on in spring training. If the Dodgers can’t trade him, they’ll still play him regularly and hope he can still produce.
He was so good for so long that it’s almost incomprehensible his career is over at 31. Then again, these last two seasons have gone a long way toward making us forget that other Andruw Jones.

Wow – could any front office take a runner on Jones at this point? Hard to believe that this guy might be playing for the league minimum come April…

Andruw Jones No Longer a Dodger!

Yes, it’s the New Year’s gift we’ve all been hoping for, but it does not come cheap. According to Ken Gurnick at MLB.com, the Dodgers have agreed to pick up ALL of Jones’ remaining salary, but will defer it to future years. Jon Heyman at Sports Illustrated is reporting this will save the Dodgers $12 million this year, which obviously could be used for the long-awaited Manny Ramirez signing. According to Heyman, Jones will be released or traded before Spring Training. In exchange, Jones is free to sign as a free agent elsewhere, and the Dodgers will pick up the tab.

Regardless of what happens to Jones, I still think this is the move that had to be made. For whatever reason, Andruw was never comfortable in LA, and nothing that Torre, Mattingly or even Man-Ram did could break the guy out of what (at best) could be described as one of the most incredible slumps of all time.

Good luck, Andruw. We hardly knew thee.

Rumor Mill: Free Agent Andruw Jones?

According to TJ Simers at the Los Angeles Times and confirmed by Yahoo! Sports, that’s a scenario that the Dodgers are exploring with Jones’ agent, potentially through a deferred buyout or maybe a jinky contract extension moving the money owed to future years. Along with every other Dodger fan with a pulse, a contract buyout is something that we heartily endorse and a fantastic way to start off the new year fresh. Nothing like washing away the sins of 2008, right?

BTW, we loved the story about how the Giants are reportedly interested in entering the Man-Ram sweepstakes. Yeah, right. I’m sure those knuckleheads up in SF are indeed interested in having Manny in their outfield to sell some tickets now that they have The Big Unit on board for one year, but do you think Boras would seriously consider parking Manny in the Bay for 4-5 years? That’s the baseball equivalent of doing a stint in Alcatraz. Boras knows he needs another bidder to drive the price up with the Dodgers, and what better team to use than The Hated Ones?

The Return of Andruw Jones

It had to happen eventually – Andruw Jones is off the Dodgers DL and back in the lineup. The Dodgers have certainly been holding their own as of late, including taking two of three games in the recent series against the D-backs and the first in a series against the Padres, but where does Jones fit in these days?

Jones underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in May and was placed on the DL on Aug. 12 with tendinitis in his left knee. He’s been spending time in Vegas playing with the 51s but hasn’t been getting the reps that Torre is looking for.

Torre did say that hitting instructor Jeff Pentland, who worked with Jones while he was rehabbing at Las Vegas, was “very satisfied with his approach and his base for hitting” and that even Blake DeWitt, Jones’ teammate for the past few weeks in Vegas, noticed a “big difference.”

Would Jones actually come in to the starting lineup in place of Loney though? That would almost be tantamount to heresy given how good Loney has looked as of late.

Our guess – NO. “We’re looking for people who can help us,” Torre said.

OUCH.