Thursday, December 6, 2007

Andruw Jones Signs A 2-Year Deal With The Dodgers

The Gold Glove center fielder Andruw Jones and the Dodgers reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday night on a $36.2 million, two-year contract that gives him the fifth-highest average salary in the major leagues. He will be playing under Joe Torre, who recently became the Dodgers manager.

Jones' $18.1 million average salary trails only those of the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez ($27.5 million), Boston's Manny Ramirez ($20 million), the Yankees' Derek Jeter ($18.9 million), and the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano ($18.3 million).

Adding Jones was the first major move for Los Angeles since Torre replaced Grady Little as manager on Nov. 1. Jones will get a chance to work with Don Mattingly, who followed Torre to the Dodgers and became hitting coach.

Jones, the former Atlanta star who has won 10 straight Gold Gloves, is coming off one of the worst offensive seasons of his career. But if he rebounds, he could give the Dodgers a desperately needed boost in the middle of the lineup. They desperately need power hitting - someone to hit the long ball and drive in multiple runs - and they think Jones can rebound and be the man to do it.

Andruw Jones is still one of the best defensive center fielders in the game, and up until 2007 -- when he allegedly played with a hyper-extended elbow -- was good for an OBP near .350 and 30-40 homers every year. He's also about to turn 31, so he's still in or close to his prime as a hitter. Jones is a .263 career hitter with 368 home runs and 1,117 RBIs.

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