Thursday, January 20, 2011
Sources: Yankees, Andruw Jones agree
By Jayson Stark
Fifteen years after he put on an eye-popping October show in the first game he ever played in Yankee Stadium, outfielder Andruw Jones agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract with the Yankees on Thursday, sources confirmed to ESPN.com.
He also can earn an additional $1.2 million in incentives. Jones will earn $150,000 each for 250 and 275 plate appearances, $200,000 apiece for 300 and 325, and $250,000 each for 350 and 375, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
Jones, who will turn 34 in April, is a long ways removed from his glory days in Atlanta, where he once hit 51 homers in a season, won 10 straight Gold Gloves and played in 75 postseason games. But he did hit 19 homers in 278 at-bats last year for the White Sox and slugged .558 against left-handed pitching.
He's also still a dependable defender at all three outfield positions.
So for $2 million, the Yankees think he's a good fit as a right-handed-hitting fourth outfielder to complement the left-handed bats of Brett Gardner in left and Curtis Granderson in center.
Jones started 41 games in right field for the White Sox last year, so he also could spell Nick Swisher in right.
Fifteen years ago, at age 19, Jones crushed two homers in Game 1 of the 1996 World Series, making him just the second visiting player (along with Johnny Bench) to hit two home runs in a World Series game at Yankee Stadium.
After that game, his general manager, John Schuerholz, compared Jones to a young Hank Aaron. But a decade and a half later, the Yankees are just looking for him to be this year's Marcus Thames.
Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.