Jan
20

Yankees agree to terms with Andruw Jones

By

Via Jon Heyman, the Yankees have agreed to terms with outfielder Andruw Jones on a one-year contract. The former Brave will earn a $2M base salary with another $1.2M in incentives.

This move has been rumored for a few days, and it was only a matter of time before it happened with Scott Boras in town for Rafael Soriano‘s press conference. Jones steps into the Marcus Thames role as the lefty mashing fourth outfielder, except now they have a guy that can actually play defense. No, he’s not the defender he once was, but Andruw won’t embarrass himself out there either. It’s a nice cheap move that improves the bench and outfield depth considerably.

The 40-man roster is already full thanks to Soriano, so someone’s going to have to get the axe once Jones passes his physical and the deal becomes official. Joe and I talked about who the 40-man roster casualty might be in today’s podcast.

Categories : Asides, Transactions
  • RalphieD

    welcome aboard jonesy (giardi’s nickname for him)

    • Ecology

      i dont know
      why do i have the feeling it’ll be Druwsy?
      :)

  • randy

    I would just like to say that I am very excited personally about this. Andruw Jones was my favorite player especially since I played centerfield myself. I know he’s not the same guy at all but I’m happy to say my favorite player of the past is on my favorite team. Everyone can break down the current baseball value of the deal but I for one am excited strictly out of nostalgia.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      as am i partly. but at the same time you can’t let that nostalgia affect your expectations of him. he probably won’t mash like thames did last year but his defense and ability to play the field will def make up for it.

      • randy

        yeah i know he’s not the same guy but he does have pop and his glove should play pretty well so in a current baseball sense i like the move.

    • kmarx

      He was my favorite player too for the same reason. I like the signing for more than that though because I think he’s the best man available for the job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

    Not that bad of a contract, I expected more from Boras. Must have gave them a discount thanks to Soriano.

    • Mike HC

      That crossed my mind too. I know agents try to stay as impartial as possible when it comes to each individual player, but I always wonder how much of that inevitably comes into play. Maybe one of these high powered modern day agents will write a tell all one day down the line. I will be the first in line to read it.

      • jsbrendog (returns)

        that would be an awesome book. if anyone would do it it would be boras once he retires. he’ll be able to stay in the spotlight and keep making $$$. however, he might be an agent til he dies in an arb hearing

        • http://www.ps3tf2.co.nr/ Double-J

          however, he might be an agent til he dies in an arb hearing

          Somewhere, Randy Levine will weep…

        • Mike HC

          haha, it would only be fitting if Boras died negotiating a contract. He wouldn’t want to go out any other way, ha.

  • mbonzo

    Thats a higher price than I thought he’d get. I bet their conversations about Damon were to try to get that price lower.

    • Jonathan

      tough to play Boras against Boras…he’s both of their agents

      • Mike HC

        You can’t escape this fucking guy. As much as I am critical of Cashman’s recent moves, I understand wanting to stay as far away from Boras as possible unless absolutely necessary.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

    Sounds fine to me. Welcome aboard, Andruw.

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

    Good deal, good fit.

  • Max

    Boom! Great signing.

    Now we just need Pettitte to get his ass back into shape (I refuse to believe he is done)… and this team will really “sneak up” on the league.

  • bonestock94

    Nice, I love our team offensively. Better than the last 2 years (I think) if Russel Martin exceeds Cervelli and the Jesus eventually comes up.

    • David

      Also better defensively. Martin far better than Posada. Jones far better than Thames. Still need infield depth so Cano and Jeter don’t need to play almost every game.

      • bonestock94

        Truth. Although Cano is still young, I don’t expect him to need much rest. It’ll probably be Nunez and/or Pena for Jeter.

      • jsbrendog (returns)

        but you can’t have a masher at each position. someone like nunez/pena will be a fine UTI. only problem is if jetes or cano goes down but every team has that problem because bench players are bench players for a reason.

      • Ted Nelson

        I think Nunez looks like a fine utility man. When you look around the league at starting middle infielders… there are starters I’d be less comfortable with than Nunez.

        • David

          He isn’t bad. They really need that. 157 games for Jeter may have really hurt him. 160 games for Cano – How long can he keep that up?

  • UncleArgyle

    Nice signing. Jones could be Thames 2.0 but with the ability to actually play defense. Its a nice thing when you can add a player with 19 homers last year to be your 4th Outfielder.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    Not some game-changer but a solid move. Woot.

    • Mike HC

      He very well could be a game changer with his ability. Even Thames was a bit of a game changer last year. Jones can still mash and crazier things have happened than a lucky, bounceback year. Maybe Kevin Long helps too, although I always try to temper the hype managers, pitching and hitting coaches get when a couple of players out perform their career norms under them.

      • jsbrendog (returns)

        since it is highly unlikely thames repeats last yr i would say that he and jones have similar offensive potential. Therefore, jones ability to play defense and remove the need for a 5th of to play the field like last year helps the team in the field and in roster construction putting him far and away above thames production. jones war will outweigh thames this year. bank on it

      • Ted Nelson

        “crazier things have happened than a lucky, bounceback year.”

        Problem is that he bounced back last year… Bouncing back from his best season in a few years is tough… Sustaining it would be amazing.

        I absolutely agree with the first part, though. He’s going to get some at bats and he’s could be the main guy to provide depth behind up for 5 positions (OF, DH, and slide Swish or Posada to 1B). So… absolutely could be a game changer, and had a WAR of 1.8 last season. Who knows how he’ll do this season, but in limited play last season his WAR was in-line with guys like Ibanez, Delmon Young, Juan Pierre, Bobby Abreu…

        • Ted Nelson

          For another comparison… The Yankees won the WS with Melky as a starter and now their 4th OF is way, way better than Melky.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

    Nice move. Some insurance just incase an outfielder (or Posada) get injured.

  • UncleArgyle

    So whats the team look like now?

    1B Tex
    2B Cano
    SS Jeter
    3rd Arod
    C Martin
    DH Posada
    RF swisher
    CF Grandy
    LF Gardy

    with a bench of
    C Cervelli
    OF Jones
    IF Nunez?

    By my count the team needs another bench player. And no I don’t mean Ramiro Pena….

    • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

      …why?

      We obviously want to see the team get better, but I don’t see what’s so great about getting another good bench player. The bench is good enough. Save a couple of millions…

      • UncleArgyle

        I din’t neccesarily mean sign a free agent. If I’m not forgetting someone, Brandon Laird might have a legit shot to get that 25th spot as a four corners guy. Might make some sense if he’s ready.

        • vin

          I think they’ll break the season with either Golson or Colin Curtis as the 5th OFer. Pena/Nunez will cover 3rd, SS, and 2B. Swisher can back up 1st. Cervelli and Montero can duke it out for BUC. Jones can cover the corner OF spots. Gardner can backup CF.

          Because of the versatility of the guys they already have, they don’t really need a 5th OFer, but the other positions are pretty well covered, and I can’t see them stalling the development of Laird or Montero by having them sit on the bench.

          • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

            I can’t see them stalling the development of Laird or Montero by having them sit on the bench.

            Pretty much

          • Ted Nelson

            I don’t think Montero would be on the opening roster with the idea of sitting on the bench, but to play. Probably not on the opening day roster anyway, but if he’s brought up I’d say it’s because they want or need him to play.

            I mostly agree on Laird. Could use time in AAA. However, if last season was mostly a fluke/as good as it gets… Hiding him in the majors and excusing poor performance on sample size and first taste of the majors might provide more trade value than him struggling in AAA.

        • Ted Nelson

          Yeah, I think it’s definitely worth discussing. Montero is an obvious candidate at some point in the season, if his promotion isn’t coupled with an injury or demotion at C.

          Short-term… Pena. Laird. Golson. I would at least try to sign someone to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. Create a little competition/depth. Maybe catch lightning in a bottle.

      • vin

        Mathmatically they still need another player. They won’t carry 13 pitchers.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

          His name is most likely Ramiro Pena.

          • CS Yankee

            Pena’s glove might make the difference. Nunez bat should be the choice but i’m not sure he can play 3B & 2B like Pena can.

            Most teams carry 5 OF’ers & Golson makes a decent case for the playing late game RF.

            I’m thinking Pena is in & the question is Nunez or Golson til June. As Jesus will have 10 bombs by the close of May and avoid burning a year on a per-June callup.

    • Mike HC

      If Montero gets added to the mix at some point, either he could be the extra bench player, or bump one of our starters to extra bench player. Of course, injuries are almost inevitable every year, so this may look different by the end of the season.

    • mbonzo

      Was hoping for Jerry Hairston.

      • steve (different one)

        This doesn’t preclude a jhj signing at all

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Hairston signed with the Nats a day or two ago.

          • steve (different one)

            Well that’s embarrassing. Carry on…

    • Jonathan

      ya definitely another OF. it’s cool that we don’t need our backup OF to play CF so we can settle for a better bat. what OF are available even?

      • jsbrendog (returns)

        having 2 natural cf in the outfield is a huge plus. also, im sure jones could do it in a pinch at least serviceably for a few innings

        • Jonathan

          agree 100%

        • Jonathan

          has anyone ever written a study about how OF defense declines? I mean he used to get the most amazing reads on balls. He wasn’t great because of speed like gardner. I mean is it because he just got fat and lazy? Then you have a guy like Damon who all of a sudden can’t even catch the ball without almost falling over. I always wondered how that happens.

        • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

          Swisher could too, but I’d rather not.

          • chriskeo

            Swisher did, for one whole inning last year.

    • Big Apple

      for the love of God! you forgot Jesus!

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      Personally I’d rather Pena than Nunez. Neither can hit, but Pena is slick with the glove. Plus I like Mike Axisa’s writing and don’t want him to croke on us if Nunez makes the team. (I’m kidding, Mike)

    • Pounder

      Eric Chavez was mentioned somewhere.

  • Josh S.

    I’m pretty excited about this signing. I have a feeling that he’ll be starting a lot of games, perhaps a platoon with Gardner/Grandy?

    • Hughesus Christo

      No.

    • mbonzo

      Gradner and Grandy are much better than Jones. Unless one gets injured, he’ll be backup.

      • Josh S.

        Agreed, but I still worry about Grandy vs. lefties.

      • Ted Nelson

        I wouldn’t say “a lot of games” or “platoon” but a definite positive here is that *if* Jones is mashing lefties and *if* another OF is struggling against lefties… you have the option.

      • Mike HC

        I’m not so sure how much better Gardner’s going to be than Jones in ’11. It may be closer than some think, especially against lefthanded pitchers.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          It doesn’t really matter who’s better, they have both guys. It’s nice to have alternatives.

          • Mike HC

            Oh, for sure. Love having both of them and didn’t mean to imply otherwise. Just speculating on the possibility that Jones outperforms Gardner, especially against lefties. Who knows though, thats why they play, and I watch, the games.

            • mbonzo

              Its possible that Jones bounces back, but the last time he posted a WAR higher than what Gardner did last year was in 2006. Gardner and Granderson have definitely earned the starting spot for playing better than Jones. Who knows what happens?

              • Ted Nelson

                I don’t think Jones is likely to outperform Gardner or Garnderson on the whole (assuming good health all around), but against a tough lefty you might make up for Gardner’s defensive advantage with Jones’ offensive one. Last season was an extreme example for Jones, but he really crushed lefties. .931 OPS vs. LHP and .914 OPS against LH starters. I don’t really expect that this season, but it kills Gardner’s .725 and .619 or Granderson’s .647 and .690…

                You can start Jones against a tough lefty and then pinch hit or run Gardner/Granderson or you can use Jones to pinch hit against a LOOGY.

              • Yanko

                I thought the same thing right away, remembering how Girardi took away atbats from Gardy and handed them to Kearns. If this was Joe Torre’s team, i guarantee Jones would be a full time outfielder. I hope Gardner keeps playing everyday, in fact, leading off is where i would prefer to see him.
                The bullpen and the bench are pretty set. Looking good. Good signing, good 1 year deal, household name. Lester, Price, Matusz, Romero have all taken notice.

        • http://ww.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          More Gardner hate because suddenly a .380 OBP and elite defense means nothing.

          • Mike HC

            I love the elite defense, but in my opinion, it gets slightly mitigated when he is not needed in CF. Jones is also at least average in the corners at this point. I also don’t think Gardner will maintain his offense production from last year, again, just an opinion. So a regression from Gardner offensively, and if Jones, who had a .827 OPS last season, and a .945 OPS post all star break, can maintain or slightly improve on that, the difference between Gardner and Jones may be closer than many expect.

            But again, who knows. It is also quite possible that Jones has a .179 batting average and Gardner posts a plus .400 OBP. We will see and you don’t have to guess what is going once the games start to play.

  • Mike HC

    Nice pick up. Not much to complain about here. Wonder who negotiated this contract, ha, half serious.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

      Levine would have offered 5 mil with a mid season opt out clause and another 3 mil for the second half of the season.

      • Mike HC

        “with a mid season opt out clause” – – classic, haha.

      • Jonathan

        oh my god…don’t let Chris see you write that!!!

        • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

          Who’s Chris?

  • J. Scott

    Looking at the Equivalent Average [EQA] numbers from Baseball Prospectus, Jones last year was at .285 (career .278). Scott Hairston was at .253 (career .263). Damon last year was .276 (career .272).

  • Ted Nelson

    This was the move. Righty with power, can get by in all 3 OF spots, and fairly cheap. Maybe it doesn’t work out amazingly, but I think this was a no-brainer on paper. I don’t expect him to match his 2010 totals, but 2009 would be great.

    His defensive versatility makes him an ideal 4th OF, whereas with a strictly corner guy or a all glove/no hit CF type you need a complement. Insurance not only for the OF, but really Posada and Tex too.

    Total speculation/wishful thinking, but I hope we’re talking about how the Yankees under the radar Martin/Jones moves provided great value and Sox overspent wildly for the 2nd offseason in a row.

    The Sox will pay $7.25 mill for their 4th OF this season and possibly $5 mill for their utility guy if Lowrie beats out Scutaro… Their 4 and 5 starters will make $25 mill… And they have no C to speak of. Yes, they added 2 very good position players and had terrible health last season, but they also watched 9 WAR from 2010 walk in Martinez and Beltre. I like being the underdog, but I don’t see why the Sox are treated such heavy favorites.

    • Jonathan

      Ya their pitching isn’t exactly a team strength. Lester is a complete stud. Buchholz won’t repeat that ERA but is pretty good. Beckett was a disaster last year even when he was healthy and has been very mercurial. Lackey was also terrible and doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere but down. And what exactly can you count on from Dice-K? 5 innings 5K 5BB 4 Runs?

      I know you could do this with any rotation except the phillies, but besides Lester, who can you count on to produce what the MSM expects them to? I expect Lester and CC to perform about the same and Buchholz and Hughes to do the same as well. But i don’t know what you can count on out of Beckett/Dice K/Lackey. But at least they aren’t Mitre.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    I like the Jones signing. It gives the team instant production with one swing and a capable OF to rest the other OF’s. I thought the price is a high but its not my budget.

    As far as the other IF from the bench, Nunez will more than likely get the bulk of the play. Pena’s glove is big league so he be used as a real defensive specialist maybe Jeter’s caddy. The only plate that he’ll see is the pregame meal buffet.

    • David

      Agree with all of that. The Jones signing is a very good fit. He is better than Gardy and Grandy against left handers and he is at least an average fielder. He also could be on the upswing after getting his knee back in shape. Nunez could be decent. He did not embarrass himself when called up last year. Pena is exactly what you say.

      They are in decent shape. One more starter, likely Andy, or plenty to trade to get one, and with good health they strongly contend with the Red Sox and easily make the playoffs.

  • whozat

    People see a 2MM base salary as high? He was good last year, he’s was good in the past, he’s not coming off a bad injury…seems about right to me, there’s no big red flag to drag down the value. The incentives…it depends what they are, but if they’re for, like…200, 250 and 300 plate appearances or something, then he’s basically a half-time player and I have no problem paying him a little more. Thames had 237 PAs last year, for comparison.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Prefer Golson to Colin Curtis for OF. Better defender and speed trumps any offensive shortcomings for a 5th OF’er

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      “Prefer Golson to Colin Curtis for OF.”

      Shocking!

  • JFH

    I have suffered through many a season watching Andruw Jones here in Atlanta, when he was overrated. Undisciplined bat, and he is a loafer in the field. He will not be much of a factor for the NYY. I know someone will disagree and I hope I am wrong. But, that is my impression after watching him….a lot.

  • M

    Won’t they just move Marte to 60 day DL? I am geussing Sanchez would go since he is out of options and not that good

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      No DL during the offseason.

      • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

        Couldn’t they get away with passing Marte through waivers? Who would take him?

  • Gordon

    I think Andruw Jones is as good as he wants to be.

    • CS Yankee

      Fact: Good is the enemy of great.

      Let’s hope he is about to go Beltre on a walk year.

      • Mister Delaware

        You might want to review what constitutes a fact.

        • CS Yankee

          Being satified with good (per Gordon’s comments) is the enemy of great…being great, you are never satified with the results and push to improve and therefore cannot embrace be happy with good.

          The fact stands.

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals

    isn’t Jones the guy that falls off a cliff every May?

    is 2MM a lot for a 4th OF?

    • CS Yankee

      Maybe, but 400K for a LF’er is a steal.

      Dollor cost averaging…works everywhere.

      Note: May not apply to the ‘pen, 3B, SS, DH & the “#2 SP”.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        i read through ‘works everywhere’ then threw back my had and through gritted teeth said ‘arod…jeter…soriano…BURNETT!!1!’ and then came back down to read what you wrote :)

        i think the major concept of dollar cost averaging is to somehow sell at a profit in the future–i’ve got step three (profit) and step one (sign jones), but i’m fuzzy on step two…

        • CS Yankee

          Jones at 2-plus & Grit at 400k equates to less than 1.5M$ avg. for the 3rd & 4th guy. Grit & Grandy will likely see some time off against lefties that can go to Jones without losing big on D.

          Sox have 3-plus X’s that in just their 4th OF’er. It is all relative; but having Jones versus what bargains in Winn (thinking 1-plus) & Thames (thinking 800-plus) were had is a better investment, i feel.

    • Ted Nelson

      Sox are paying $7.25 mm for theirs…

      Being a back up *might* help Jones with his falling off a cliff problem. It’s not entirely accurate anyway. Last season he was just awful in June, but finished the rest of the season strong. In 2009 he generally tailed off, but had a great July.

  • Mister Delaware

    You know what would be cool? A rule that no one can throw him anything with hard or two-plane break.

    (But I do love the signing. Love Andruw.)

  • chris

    If this negatively effects Gardner’s pt, i will be out for blood

    • Plank

      This isn’t the Torre era, the only way if take pt away from Gardner is if it benefits the Yankees.

  • Big Apple

    i’m amazed that jones is only 33 years old.

    • Plank

      That’s what happens when someone comes on like wildfire when they are a teenager. I am still surprised when I see Arod’s (35) and Pujols’ age (31).

  • Andrew518

    Looks good on paper but man I just don’t like the guy. Strange numbers, big swings (statisticaly speaking) remember the 9 HR year? Just something fishy with him in my book. Will he really focus and be dedicated when he’s only coming off the bench?

    • Brazilian Fan

      omg he is really only a 4 of. Chill.

      We had worse (last year, thames was realy a dh in my opinion)