Andy on the way? That's Jones, not Pettitte

January, 10, 2011
1/10/11
2:39
PM ET
I wish I could tell you that this was just some silly Interweb gibberish, but it appears the Yankees might have some legitimate interest in signing Andruw Jones, the 33-year-old free agent outfielder whose prime expired about four years ago.

Jones, who got the Yankees' attention by hitting two home runs for the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the 1996 World Series as a 19-year-old and led the NL with 51 homers in 2005, hasn't played a full season since 2007. As soon as he signed a two-year, $36 million free-agent deal with the Dodgers in 2008, everything went south for Jones but his weight, which ballooned to a listed 230.

In the past three seasons, Jones has hit .158 with three HRs and 14 RBIs in 75 games with the Dodgers, .214 with 17 HRs and 43 RBIs in 82 games for the Rangers and .230 with 19 HRs and 48 RBIs in 107 games for the White Sox after being pressed into service when Carlos Quentin got hurt. Plus, he had knee surgery in 2008. Sounds like the kind of guy most teams would stay away from.

But the Yankees, flush with unspent cash and seeking a right-handed hitting backup outfielder, appear to think Jones could fit that role, and are said to be actively exploring the possibility of bringing him on. It is unknown how much Jones is looking for in terms of salary -- he went to spring training with the White Sox last year as a non-roster invite -- but with Scott Boras doing the negotiating, he is not likely to come all that cheap.

Still, a baseball executive told me today, "The Yankees would be crazy not to at least consider him,'' and apparently, that's exactly what they are doing. Wish I could tell you otherwise, but as Joe Girardi likes to say, it is what it is.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .269
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .755
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135