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.