Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Does Anyone Want Andruw Jones?

Perhaps my favorite line from any of the news articles reporting Andruw Jones' release by the Dodgers is this one by Ken Peters of the AP:

When the Dodgers added Manny Ramirez in a trade deadline deal July 31, that left Jones with minimal opportunities. But with the staggering performance by Ramirez (.396 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 games) and the fine work of fellow outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, Jones was hardly missed.

Um, Jones was batting in the .150s. Mario Mendoza could have been in the outfield for the Dodgers and Jones wouldn't have been missed.

Jones' collapse started a couple years ago. He truly fell off a cliff in 2008, however, "hitting" .158 with three homers and 14 RBI. The Dodgers finally threw in the towel late last week.

What is the likeliest destination for Jones now? Somebody is going to take a chance on him, after all; the first 10 years of his career combined very good offense with what some argued was all-time-great defense in center field.

His old team, the Braves, may be the most likely landing spot for Jones. The fact that after his release by the Dodgers Jones attended a college basketball game in Atlanta wearing a Braves cap lends credence. But the Braves are said willing to offer only a minor-league contract, despite the fact that the team signing Jones will only have to pay him the MLB minimum (because the Dodgers are still on the hook for $21 million).