Friday, January 2, 2009

Mercifully, Andruw Jones may soon be gone

What a difference a year can make. Or should I say, What a difference one LOUSY year can make.

The debacle known as the Andruw Jones signing looks to have finally come to an end. Jones has agreed to defer much of his salary left to spread out over the course of up to six years. In return, he will be either traded or released before the start of Spring Training. It could happen this month.

This ends what will go down as perhaps the worst free agent signing in baseball history. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Think about the expectations that were brought when he was signed. To refresh your memory, he was supposed to be a power bat in the middle of the order the Dodgers desperately needed, and give Gold Glove-caliber defense in center.

Instead, he only played 75 games, battling a weight problem (in other words, he was fat) that most likely led to a tear in his right knee. His final tally on the year was absolutely PATHETIC: .158 AVG, .256 OBP, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 76 K. And it's not like he could fall back on his used-to-be amazing defensive ability because he had a hard time tracking down balls he used to get to with ease in the past.

It's really hard to believe just how awful he really was. It's hard to put into perspective. I can't think of anyone that has ever signed a rich contract like he did (2 years/$36 million) and gave them literally nothing in return. Embarrassing.

Keep in mind that he hasn't actually been sent anywhere yet, but it will happen. Now that he'll be off to a "fresh start" somewhere else, the Dodgers have even more money to play around with. It's estimated that this move frees up $12 million, which goes along with the nearly $50 million opened up from the other 16 free agents that are now gone.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this money will go towards luring back Manny Ramirez, and rightfully so. To update on his situation, it looks as if Scott Boras and Ned Colletti are back in contact, which is a positive sign. But, there's now rumors swirling that the San Francisco Giants have offered a 4-year deal to him. Plus, the Anaheim Angels may rethink their strategy of not looking to replace the Mark Teixeira departure with him.

Hopefully, the Jones departure will be the beginning of bigger news for LA.

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