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Andruw Jones is not needed in New York



By Historical Archive ~ January 3rd, 2009. Filed under: Digest Contributors.

Reports have the Los Angeles Dodgers restructuring the contract of outfielder Andruw Jones, deferring many millions of dollars. This move comes literally hours after word leaked that their rival, the San Francisco Giants made a three year offer to free agent outfielder Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers are desperate to re-sign Ramirez to help bolster an offense revitalized after Manny’s mid-season arrival from Boston in 2008.

The Dodgers NEED Ramirez, both for their own team and to not let him go to an inter-divisional rival. Same thing happened recently in the AL Eat, when the Red Sox were desperate to land Mark Teixeira, only to see him land in the Bronx. 

The proverbial double whammy!

But, the Dodgers redid Jones’ deal to save them money in 2009, help in upping their offer to Manny, and make Jones more appealing to potential trading partners.

One of those trading partners SHOULD NOT be the New York Mets.

Several national writers (and a few on NYBD) think that because of thew lower salary, that a Andruw Jones/Luis Castillo trade would be a good fit for the Mets. Whether his 2009 salary is $5 million of $25 million, Jones is still not going to provide any semblance of the player he was a few years ago.

He is not that great a defender anymore. With age, and that added weight, he had a tough time getting to balls hit near the track, and the defense will only get worse. While he is still only 32, he has played major league ball for 13 seasons, which does take its toll on the body. Jones has begun to break down physically, and his offensive numbers have been in decline for several years in a row.

So why take him on the team? Because he hit 41 homers TWO years ago? That was when Jones was in his late 20′s. Now he is in his early 30′s. Big difference there. Jones has also hit only a combined .205 over the last two seasons. Readers in their early 30′s: Ask yourself if you feel better now than you did three years ago. 

If obtained by the Mets, Andruw Jones would join a cast of overpaid, aging and underperforming veterans the Metshave been involved with over the last several years. Players such as Moises Alou, Orlando Hernandez, Jeff Conine, Julio Franco, Chan Ho Park and up until July 2008 even Carlos Delgado. And I didn’t even mention Pedro’s name.

The Mets have been a team of broken down older players for a few years now. Why go down the road with another one?

Nobody is busting down the door for these aging players. Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu and even Pedro can be had for only MONEY, and no loss of a draft pick, but nobody cares!

It is a young mans game now, as the Rays, Phillies and Twins proved in 2008.

Also, why would the Dodgers need Luis Castillo? They were only  looking to maybe trade for him to get rid of Jones, but that was when Jones was going to make much more in 2009. Now that the money is deferred, there is no need for the Dodgers to trade him for an aging player coming off a sub par season. The Dodgers are looking to cut salary and get rid of feeble over paid, underperforming veterans, not bring another one on board.

It is going to be very difficult for the Mets to deal Castillo. Teams around the league are seeking to cut salary and get younger. Based on Castillo’s salary and who he is (won a World Series in 2003 with Florida), he should given the second base job for April and May, then the Mets can determine his status for the remainder of his contract.

If he performs like his game is predicated (good defense, getting on base, using his speed) then you keep him as the second baseman.

If he continues to falter and his knees are not better, then you release him and eat the money.

And what is with the love affair with Orlando Hudson? Do Met fans really want to give this 31 year old guy $10 million per season for three or more years? He has performed better in hitter friendly Arizona the last two years, especially the power numbers. How do you think his numbers will play out in new Citi Field? Could he be another aging veteran booed repeatedly in New York?

It is a young mans game and the Mets need to get younger, not older. It is difficult to deal with the three years remaining on Luis Castillo’s contract, so the Mets might have to just deal with it.

Too many baseball people talk about the need to get younger, but when an aging veteran on the downside comes available or is a free agent, the same people always want to sign the veteran. That is what gets teams in trouble with contracts for aging players.

Again, why would the Mets want or need Andruw Jones? If it is because he is cheaper, it is a stupid move. I wouldn’t even sign Jones if he was released by the Dodgers, and only cost the new team $440,000. His presence will just cost the Mets needed experience for another young player.

If he is healthy, by mid season, Fernando Martinez should be promoted and allowed to play. He will put up better results than an overpaid and overweight Andruw Jones.

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4 Responses to Andruw Jones is not needed in New York

  1. Ron

    While I agree with you premis about getting younger, your examples are terrible.

    “…. It is a young mans game now, as the …. Phillies …. proved in 2008.

    The Phillies: they got a lot younger by resigning 46-year old Jamie Moyer to a 2-year deal and replacing Burrell with a 37-year old Raul Ibanez …. if they figured it out for 2008, why didn/t they continue to go in the “younger”direction for 2009?

    I agree Andruw Jones has no place here …. but your article goes down a path that you you cannot support …. Jones should not be here because he is an aging ballplayer — he is only 31 …. he should not be here because he sucks.

  2. Midas

    I concur with Ron. This argument is not as much about the age of the team, and more about poor decisions that were made in the past (see Orlando Hernandez, Moises Alou, and let’s hope we do not add Carlos Delgado to the list in 2009). Joseph, your argument has merit, but I would suggest that the error is more complex. Omar’s reliance on aging players to play at the levels they played at in their prime is the issue that I think needs to be reassessed. This has led to missed opportunities in 2006, 2007 and 2008. If that is your argument you are spot on.

    If Jones were to come to Citi, he may fall into that mode, but it would be less about age at 31 and more about diminishing skills. If he were to come and he is considered a key cog for success then we are in for a long year. I am not sold on whether he is worth the risk. If he were hitting in the winter league you might feel good. I think our risks could be better served with people like Chad Cordero, Milton Bradley, Mark Mulder or Freddy Garcia. Brad Penny would not have been a big risk, to me. I understand his character was questioned, but choir boys do not win championships.

    The reliance on players past their prime to play major roles in the success of the team has been a problem. Also, the Mets inability to bring in players with character, vocal leadership attributes and a record of being clutch players with heart has been an achilles heel. With the exception of Pedro, who has fit that bill? When you have the character people in your rotation and not on the field everyday you get disappointment in September. Jones does not resolve this, but if you could move Castillo and bring in a character guy like Hudson, I would be for it.

    I am personally tired of the laid back leadership styles of Delgado, Beltran, etc. Bring in people that invoke the fire and brim stone of yesteryear (Hernandez, Dykstra, Backman, Knight, etc) instead of being so concerned with the public perception and need for Jeff Wilpon to be buddy/buddy with the players. A little fire would be appreciated. We as fan should not care more than some of the players appear to.

  3. Joseph DelGrippo

    Ron,

    You are correct in that the Phillies have signed a few older players, but with Moyer, pitchers are a little different than position players in the game of baseball as they tend to “age more gracefully.” There are many pitchers in history who have been effective into their 40′s, but a much smaller percentage of hitters are effective into their mid to late 30′s.

    And, although I thought Manny Ramirez at 37 would be a great fit for the Phillies (see one of my prior pieces here at NYBD), Ibanez is a significant upgrade over Burrell as he is more athletic and a better all around offensive player.

    Ibanez has hit from .280 to .304 each of the last 8 years, showing no decline in production. His production likely will not decline at cozy Citizens Bank Park, either, until (maybe) the third year of the deal.

    In 2008, most of the Phillies core players, though, were drafted and developed through the system like Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Brett Meyers, Kyle Kendrick, Ryan Madson and even Pat Burrell.

    Other key players from the World Series Champs like Joe Blanton, Eric Bruntlett, Brad Lidge and Chad Durbin are all young and in their prime. During last season, only Lidge and Burrell were older than 30.

    Looking back, I should have elaborated more about my “young man’s game now” statement in regards to the Phillies.

    More importantly to Phillies fans, guys like Lou Marson (C), Jason Donald (SS/2B/3B), JA Happ (P), Carlos Carrasco (P), and Andrew Carpenter (P) are all youngsters ready to play in Philadelphia.

    And, unlike the Mets (and even the Yankees!), the Phillies have shown their willingness to use their young talent.

    The bottom line, though, as you reiterated from my article, Andruw Jones does indeed suck and should not be a Met.

  4. Not Needed

    While I agree with you premis about getting younger, your examples are terrible.

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