Pirates designate former Yankees’ target Garrett Jones for assignment

What Went Right: Robinson Cano, #KabakHat
Monday Night Open Thread

Earlier today, the Pirates announced they have designated Garrett Jones for assignment. They needed to open a 40-man roster spot following a minor trade with the Padres. Jones was going to be non-tendered — Matt Swartz projects him to earn $5.3M through arbitration — so Pittsburgh just sped up the process and cut him loose now rather than wait until next Monday’s deadline.

Jones, 31, hit .233/.289/.419 (97 wRC+) with 15 homers in 440 plate appearances this year, including .241/.295/.435 (103 wRC+) against right-handers. The lefty swinger has hit .264/.324/.486 (122 wRC+) against righties over the last three seasons and can play both right field and first base. Jones can’t hit lefties at all (28 wRC+ since 2011) and his defense is passable at best. His value is tied up exclusively in his power and, lucky for him, his dead pull swing is pretty much tailor made for Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees have tried to acquire Jones before, most notably asking for him in the A.J. Burnett trade talks, so expect them to at least kick the tires as soon as he clears waivers and declares free agency. He could work as a power bat off the bench who sees time in right field and at DH while serving as protection for the increasingly injury prone Mark Teixeira. Jones has been okay at best over the last four years and there’s a chance the 2013 season is an indication he’s about to fall off a cliff. I don’t think this is a no-brainer, but at the right price though, he makes sense for New York as a role player.

What Went Right: Robinson Cano, #KabakHat
Monday Night Open Thread
  • Pseudoyanks

    How they respond here could tip Hal’s hand as to the 189 limit (still in play or not).

  • hogsmog

    I sorta feel like Mark Reynolds would do better in this spot. If there’s anywhere the Yankees have depth it’s outfield, and the lineup is already pretty lefty-heavy. A cheap guy with a little pop who plays 3rd seems more valuable than the same guy who’s an outfielder instead.

    • Goyanx

      Agreed. Reynolds looked like
      worth another shot this year.
      Good attitude too.

    • TWTR

      Not quality depth.

  • LarryM Fl

    There is nothing to gain in Jones signing. He does not stack up against Beltran even at 10 million less. I walk away as if I did not know he was placed on waivers.

    • TWTR

      It would be in addition to Beltran, not instead of.

  • kenthadley

    He could look to build his value back like Raul did, but chances are other teams would offer him more playing time….Mets for example, but probably a few others.

    • Eselquetodolosabe

      ….., and speaking of Raul, why not sign him instead. Probably cheaper for a shorter period, with equal or more H.R. power. Of course age is the big caveat.

  • Kibbles ‘n Vicks

    Just out of curiosity, what type of contract would Juan Uribe be looking for? I know he has mainly played third base the last few years, but in the past he has been pretty versatile in being able to play 3B,SS,2B, and he has posted above average defensive numbers in every year of his career.

  • CashmanNinja

    I wouldn’t mind Garrett Jones in a limited role. He could DH against righties and then be benched against lefties (in which McCann could then DH against lefties in his place). I’m also fine with Reynolds coming back. But the real question is the price tag. Unless they come at a discount then I don’t expect either to sign here since they could go elsewhere for a 1 year deal with more playing time to rehab their value.

    • Wicomico Pinstripes

      I get giving McCann more PA’s at DH but why against LHP? I think that would be a better spot to give Jeter and Soriano more PA’s.

      • CashmanNinja

        McCann could get random off days at DH when facing lefties since someone like Cervelli happens to be decent against lefties. It would help keep McCann fresh. Just my 2 cents.

  • Dan

    He’s definitely appealing to go after, but with Ichiro on the books and Tex coming back, I’d be more interested in them getting a righty hitting platoon outfielder to go with Ichiro should they need to start one of them every day. With Ichiro on the roster and slated for 400 PAs, it seems Jones’s bat would go to waste.

    All of this is with the caveat that I’d rather they move Ichiro and get Jones, who is a better platoon hitter.

  • FLYER7

    On a team with 8 position players, a DH and 4 player bench, Ichiro and Wells canr clog two of those slots. One or both need to go to create a more flexible and versatile bench which brings me to JR Murphy who I believe played some 3B somewhere along the way. Any chance he plays a little infield to enhance his versatility and then the team’s depth?

    • nyyankfan_7

      not a chance. J.R. Murphy just became a trade chip…..a pretty decent trade chip – they won’t risk ruining any value by forcing him into a foreign position; regardless of whether not he played 20 innings there back in Little League or not.

  • MannyGeee

    In a bubble, sure… But I guess I don’t see him as a play unless Beltran is off the table, Cano sucks every last penny from the Yankees with the exception of the $4M it would take to sign Jones, and Ichiro got caught with dead hookers stacked in his trunk like cord wood.

    But otherwise, sure

  • Poconos Adam

    Getting Reynolds back needs to be a priority vs. adding someone like Jones. If they could pay Jones with the cash/”cap space” allocated to Welchiro then I’d be happy with it.

    Need a 3b candidate — and we all assume that candidate will play at least fifty straight games and hopefully not carry the surname of Nix.