According to the L.A. Times, the Dodgers have signed Andruw Jones to a 2 year/$36 million deal. We’ll have a lot more in depth analysis later on, with all the fun statistical jargon, but a few quick points:
The good? First off, the contract. In fact, the contract is REALLY good. If there’s one thing Ned Colletti should be commended on, it’s his shrewdness of handing out more money, but for less years (i.e. Furcal). Perhaps he swayed Andruw into coming to L.A. by taking a page from Tony Reagans and finalizing the deal at the local Taco Bell over chalupas (¡Yo quiero Andruw Jones!)? While Andruw is not quite what he used to be defensively, this move improves the Dodgers’ defense in center field dramatically. In fact, if Andruw Jones were a blind, no armed, no legged amputee, he would still be an improvement over Juan Pierre. While there is certainly a concern over his numbers at the plate this past season, there were many reports that his 2007 season was filled with injuries, in particular a hyper-extended elbow, which hindered his offensive production. If he can begin 2008 healthy and produce even remotely like the old Andruw, then the Dodgers have finally landed the power bat that they’ve been looking for. And if not? They’re only on the hook for two years, which sure beats the hell out of giving 5 years to an injury prone and flukey Aaron Rowand or a slightly above average Torii Hunter.
Having said that, a lot of my feelings on this signing are also contingent with what happens with Pierre. If the Dodgers can trade Pierre for a bag of balls, then this deal is excellent and I LOVE IT! But if this means Pierre is moved to left and clears the way for Matt Kemp and/or Andre Ethier to be traded, then not so much. What does comfort me is the fact that it would not make sense to trade Kemp to Baltimore for, say, Erik Bedard only to risk the possibility of losing both Bedard and Jones in two years. As of right now, though, the Dodgers’ future is sure looking good, but expect the other shoe to drop very soon…
Welcome to L.A., Andruw.
Edit: Per ESPN on the contract details…
Jones will receive a $12.2 million signing bonus, of which $5.1 million is payable next year, $2.1 million in 2009 and $5 million in 2010. He well get salaries of $9 million next year and $15 million in 2009, and also will receive a no-trade clause.