Andruw Jones’ swan song in 2007 for Atlanta was more like an Ugly Duckling. Jones batted .222 with 26 Homers and 138 Ks. Jones has a slew of impressive career achievements. He’s a 5-Time All-Star and a 10-time Gold Glove winner. He also led the bigs in Home Runs & RBI in 2005, taking home the Silver Slugger & Hank Aaron Awards that year. Andruw, at age 19, also became the youngest player to hit a home run in the 1996 World Series; his first at bat. He also became only the 2nd player ever to go yard in his first 2 World Series at bats. Jones, however, took a turn for the worse after leaving Atlanta in 2007. His Hall of Fame caliber career his spiraled downwards, leading to short stints with various teams and ultimately ending up playing in Japan.
This signing would not be about performance. Attendance is poor, and we now are in the bottom 1/3 of the league. Jones hasn’t batted over .247 since he left Atlanta; and dipped as low as .158 in Los Angeles for the Dodgers in 2008. The 38-year old outfielder doesn’t have much time left but perhaps fellow Curacaoan Andrelton Simmons could help Jones contribute to the Major League club one last time. I do not expect Jones to be a good player. I’d like to give him one last rodeo in Atlanta, and maybe get some fans in the seats. Jones would obviously command minimal salary. I want to give him one more chance to finish his career in America with fans around him that adore him. Andruw could go out the way he came in, a Brave. This situation seems far-fetched, but it’s quite similar to what the Braves did with Kelly Johnson. They brought in a guy who was familiar with playing in Atlanta and offered a cheap source of power. Jones could be a good pinch hitter for this team, joining Nick Swisher as bench long ball threats. In 2012, Jones’ last season in the MLB, he hit 14 home runs. Don’t look Braves fans, but that would be good for second best on this power deprived Braves team.
Whether it’s one last shot, a one day contract to retire a Brave, or a front office position, the Braves should approach Jones with open arms as he is clearly close to riding into the sunset. Andruw was overshadowed his whole career by Chipper Jones, but put up phenomenal numbers, including 434 career home runs. His number should absolutely be retired by the Braves, and he definitely deserves Hall of Fame consideration. Though many questioned his work ethic towards the end of his time with the Braves, he is one of the best to don the uniform. As the Braves go back to doing things the “Braves Way”, they need to pay the utmost respect to the players that helped them become the powerhouse in the NL East for 14 straight seasons.