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Mainspark
10-02-2007, 06:45 PM
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
The Atlanta Braves are cutting ties with Andruw Jones, saying they can’t afford to keep the perennial Gold Glove center fielder who’s spent his entire career with the organization.
General manager John Schuerholz announced the decision Tuesday, shortly after breaking the news to Jones at Turner Field.
While hoping to stay in Atlanta, Jones wasn’t caught off-guard by the team’s stance. He made $13.5 million this season and was looking for a raise despite slumping badly.
“I’m fine with it,” Jones told The Associated Press when reached on his cell phone. “I’m appreciative of the chance they gave me to play for Atlanta all these years. I understand the decision they have to make. That’s just the way it is. It’s a business.”
Indeed, the move was not unexpected as the 30-year-old Jones batted only .222 in the final season of his $75 million contract. He’s eligible to file for free agency after the World Series.
“It just doesn’t work for us,” Schuerholz said. “It doesn’t demean or diminish everything he’s done.”
The Braves plan to use the money they’ll save on Jones to bolster their starting rotation — a glaring weakness beyond John Smoltz and Tim Hudson — and to sign first baseman Mark Teixeira, who made $9 million this year and is eligible for arbitration.
Still, it was the end of an era in Atlanta. Jones first joined the Braves as a 19-year-old, hitting two homers in his first World Series game at Yankee Stadium in 1996. He has been one of the game’s greatest defensive outfielders, winning nine straight Gold Gloves with his diving catches and over-the-wall grabs in center.
Jones also was one of the game’s top sluggers in 2005-06, combining for 92 homers and 257 RBIs, but his production tailed off dramatically this season.
Jones fell to his worst average since becoming a full-time starter in 1997, with 26 homers and 94 RBIs.
Schuerholz said the team got an offer from Jones’ agent, Scott Boras, last December but never seriously considered it.
Boras withdrew the offer, believed to be in the $20-million-a-year range, over the summer when the Braves never responded, Schuerholz said.
“What that did was to signal what we could fully expect,” the GM said. Asked how much Boras was asking for, Schuerholz held his right hand over his head. “I can’t reach that high,” he quipped.
Jones is only the latest longtime Braves player to cut ties with Atlanta, following Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Javy Lopez. Once one of baseball’s highest-spending teams under Ted Turner, the Braves cut their budget in recent years and went through a chance in corporate owners.
Jones spent much of the year preparing to play elsewhere in 2008
“I’ve been telling people this for a long time,” he said. “It’s a business. You can’t take it to heart. I just have to move on and start with a new team.”
When it comes to contract matters, Schuerholz normally deals only with a player’s agent. But he decided to call in Jones for a face-to-face meeting.
“It was appropriate for Andruw,” Schuerholz said. “He deserved that.”

RedLegSuperStar
10-02-2007, 07:21 PM
I'm curious to see how much he will get considering the fact he batted .222 and belted just 26 homeruns and had 94 RBI's. His defense has always been his major talent. He made 13.5 million this year.. can and will he top that price tag in 2008?

Mario-Rijo
10-02-2007, 07:27 PM
I'm curious to see how much he will get considering the fact he batted .222 and belted just 26 homeruns and had 94 RBI's. His defense has always been his major talent. He made 13.5 million this year.. can and will he top that price tag in 2008?

He sure as heck shouldn't. He's a major liability at the plate and his defense is in decline. But leave it to some ignorant GM somewhere to fall prey to Boras' idiotic routine of asking for the moon, stars and at least 1/3 of the sun with an option for the other 2/3's if he plays most of his games or something foolish.

M2
10-02-2007, 07:30 PM
Jones' bat went into the toilet this season. Oddly his defense was really good (according to pretty much every measure out there and to eyeball accounts as well).

Part of the problem was BABIP related. Jones was at .242 this season, though he's never really been very good in that department - .279 for his career. If anyone has a guess as to why I'd love to hear it. He's sort of the anti-Eric Davis in that regard.

Jones' BB rate is still fine, but his ISOp dropped under .200 for the first time since his rookie season. Theoretically, if his BABIP rebounded a bit and it was a hand injury or something sapping his power, Jones could be productive in a power park. However, I wouldn't want to pay the price to find out.

Random guess as to where he ends up: Chicago White Sox

pedro
10-02-2007, 07:31 PM
Jones' bat went into the toilet this season. Oddly his defense was really good (according to pretty much every measure out there and to eyeball accounts as well).

Part of the problem was BABIP related. Jones was at .242 this season, though he's never really been very good in that department - .279 for his career. If anyone has a guess as to why I'd love to hear it. He's sort of the anti-Eric Davis in that regard.

Jones' BB rate is still fine, but his ISOp dropped under .200 for the first time since his rookie season. Theoretically, if his BABIP rebounded a bit and it was a hand injury or something sapping his power, Jones could be productive in a power park. However, I wouldn't want to pay the price to find out.

Random guess as to where he ends up: Chicago White Sox

I don't have the numbers but my impression is that Andruw just doesn't hit a lot of line drives.

Highlifeman21
10-02-2007, 09:12 PM
Two guesses off the top of my head for Mr. Jones' next team....

NYA

or

CHN.


If the Cubs flop early in the playoffs, I'd imagine Lou to talk management into making a good bid for Jones, as well as possibly Alex Rodriguez.



I also see the Yankees wanting to add a bat to their lineup to replace Alex Rodriguez, and that bat very well could be Andruw Jones.

KronoRed
10-02-2007, 09:25 PM
Wise move by the Braves

15fan
10-02-2007, 09:30 PM
Andruw's swing has been a mess for a couple of years now. He muscles up, tries to hit everything about 650 feet to left field, and ends up on his back knee.

Edit: In 2006 he was carrying around a LOT of extra weight. Seems to have worked some of that off in 2007, but there's still probably another 15-20 lbs that needs to come off.

(In other words, not exactly Ozzie Guillen's kind of guy...)

If I had to guess, I'd say he ends up out in LA with the Dodgers. There's plenty of room to roam in the OF in LA, they've got $$$ to overpay, and Raffy Furcal is out there.

I could also see Peter Angelos in Baltimore making a play. That's where Javy Lopez went, and Leo Mazzone is there. Hell, JimBo's probably all giddy to throw money his way, too. New park and all.

KronoRed
10-02-2007, 09:31 PM
Hell, JimBo's probably all giddy to throw money his way, too. New park and all.

30+ year center fielder?

Oh yeah:cool:

M2
10-02-2007, 09:40 PM
15, I was thinking the Orioles might be a likely destination as well.

Highlifeman, I'd guess the Yankees aren't in the mix. Supposedly Brian Cashman has vowed no more long-term contracts for free agents in their 30s.

RedsManRick
10-02-2007, 09:47 PM
From fangraphs:



Season Team GB/FB LD% GB% FB% IFFB% HR/FB IFH% BUH%
2002 Braves 1.05 20.0 % 41.1 % 39.0 % 13.1 % 20.8 % 6.8 % 0.0 %
2003 Braves 0.98 20.8 % 39.3 % 39.9 % 12.1 % 18.9 % 4.8 % 0.0 %
2004 Braves 1.31 15.8 % 47.8 % 36.5 % 14.8 % 18.7 % 6.9 % 0.0 %
2005 Braves 1.00 16.0 % 42.0 % 42.0 % 12.4 % 25.2 % 5.0 % 0.0 %
2006 Braves 0.95 19.0 % 39.4 % 41.6 % 15.1 % 22.0 % 4.0 % 0.0 %
2007 Braves 0.89 17.2 % 38.9 % 43.9 % 10.8 % 13.4 % 7.6 % 0.0 %

More than anything else, what sticks out like sore thumb is the HR/FB rate.

GAC
10-02-2007, 10:04 PM
A good move by the Brave's FO. Especially with the Teixeira acquisition. I wonder who Jone's replacement in CF will be?

red-in-la
10-02-2007, 11:15 PM
The Reds pick up Dunn's option, bring up Jay Bruce and trade Josh Hamilton to Atlanta.

RedLegSuperStar
10-02-2007, 11:17 PM
The Reds pick up Dunn's option, bring up Jay Bruce and trade Josh Hamilton to Atlanta.

I was thinking more like Ryan Freel..

LoganBuck
10-02-2007, 11:37 PM
I was thinking more like Ryan Freel..

Someone has to hit eighth.

KronoRed
10-03-2007, 03:04 AM
I was thinking more like Ryan Freel..

Good plan.

mth123
10-03-2007, 03:35 AM
A good move by the Brave's FO. Especially with the Teixeira acquisition. I wonder who Jone's replacement in CF will be?

Kelly Johnson? With Escobar at 2B and the $ savings going into the pitching staff and Teixeira?

Jpup
10-03-2007, 06:44 AM
think Texas.

15fan
10-03-2007, 09:56 AM
The Reds pick up Dunn's option, bring up Jay Bruce and trade Josh Hamilton to Atlanta.

After all their player moves this summer at the trade deadline, there isn't much that the Braves would be willing to trade that I would be interested in.

Unless they put McCann on the market.

But since they dealt away Saltalamacchia, the odds of McCann going anywhere are between slim and none.