Andruw Jones to sign with team in Japan

A look at the Yanks' outfield defense from '03-'12
Tuesday Night Open Thread

According to a Nikkan Sports report passed along by NPB Tracker, Andruw Jones is set to sign a one-year contract worth approximately $3.5M with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan. The team has since confirmed the agreement.

Jones, 35, had a strong first half but a miserable second half with the Yankees this season, finishing with a .197/.294/.408 (89 wRC+) batting line overall. He blamed the poor finish on a finger injury. Jones has pounded left-handed pitching in recent years (123 wRC+ since 2010) and I’m surprised he didn’t generate more interest among MLB teams. I’m sure more than a few clubs would have brought him to camp on a minor league contract, but I guess Andruw wanted the guaranteed deal. He’s arguably the most high-profile big leaguer to ever leave MLB for Japan.

A look at the Yanks' outfield defense from '03-'12
Tuesday Night Open Thread
  • vin

    I am a little surprised he didn’t wait longer for a deal.

  • Jamey

    This guy’s career is winding down in a drastically different way than I always thought it would.

    • G

      Seriously. Thought he’d be able to hang around long enough to get close to 500 homers and have a chance at the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, I just don’t think it’ll happen if this is the path he chooses.

      • vin

        I bet he makes it into the HOF. The voters will be a bit more savvy 6 years from now.,96,1010897,1014396

        • KeithK

          I doubt it. Yes, your charts show that he was comparable to a couple of borderline Hall of Famers (Rice and Dawson) who had to wait years on the ballot to get elected. It’s been years since Jones was considered a star player. That’s what kills any chance he might have. I just don’t think there’s going to be a lot of people making the case for his election by the time he’s eligible. He’ll be an afterthought, even for voters who understand and use advanced stats.

          (I put Yount in a different category because he had some of the milestone numbers like 300 hits and was a shortstop for a long time. Those who think WAR captures everything that matters don’t care about such things but it certainly does matter in terms of perception.)

          • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

            I used to think he was a no brainer for the hall but now I think he’s borderline. If you use fWAR, 72 for his career is more than some already in the hall but less than others who haven’t made it either.

            I think the fact that he played for many years as a league average player or worse is going to work against him in the minds of many voters.

          • Jamey

            This is what I’m thinking too. He turned 30 & just faded away. I know 30 is used as a benchmark in most sports for when to expect skills to decline, but power hitters usually have a few good years left at the plate in that 30-36 gap. Players as proven as Jones was at the time that is.

  • Greg

    he gets to moonlight as a sumo wrestler.

  • Rich in NJ

    He might as well have been in Japan last season.

  • Pat D

    I do think this ends his already dwindling chances of making the HOF.

    And to those who think that the voters will be more savvy when he hits the ballot, remember that all these PED guys will still be on the ballot, for one thing. Also, if you look at his similarity scores on BRef, there’s only one HOF’er in his Top 10. The most comparable guy to him? Dale Murphy. Another guy who had a huge peak, similar skills, and then fell off a cliff rather quickly. The only difference is that Murphy quit rather than hang around as a platoon player. But I think that’s Jones’ fate for HOF balloting, that he’ll poll similar to Murphy and hang around with 10-20% support.

    • vin

      See my link above for a bit more perspective than B-R’s similarity scores. He certainly won’t be a slam dunk, but I can definitely see him getting in after a few years on the ballot. We can’t forget that his offense was at least on par with the low end of HOF OFers, and he is considered by many to be the greatest defensive CFer of all time.

      • Pat D

        I don’t need to look at that fangraphs article. I know the HOF voting trends and patterns, and that’s all that matters.

  • Gerald Williams

    Yanks signed Youk via MLBTR… ohhh boy.

  • The Injury Bug

    According to MLBTR Yankees signed Youk.

  • vicki

    yooouuuuuuuk. it’s official.

    i feel dirty.

    • DC


  • dan gen

    for those in the know he also had the best car on the yankees…aston martin