White Sox sign OF Andruw Jones for $500K
Jones’ 2009 season was hardly as well publicized as his 2008 voyage through the depths of offensive hell, but he managed a decent bounce back in 331 plate appearances. 17 homers were hit, a .323 OBP was had, and Jones nearly had a higher slugging percentage (.459) than his 2008 OPS (.505). As for 2010, the deal is a coup for Ken Williams. Jones flashed his highest ISO since 2006 and while playing in Arlington artificially enhanced those numbers, it’s still encouraging to see his HR/FB and ability to drive the ball seemingly regress towards normal. Despite that iffy contribution in 2008 Jones is fully capable of producing league average offense — and perhaps better if he plays mostly against southpaws.
Jones’ athleticism has dipped considerably, but it seems unlikely that his defensive ability has become so poor, so quickly that he wouldn’t be worth at least the half a million in 2010. If he does perform, the deal includes roughly a million in performance incentives, and Jones will be owed whatever amount shy of $3.2M remains. He’s not going broke because of this deal. Frank McCourt, on the other hand, has to be tickled. The worst case here is Jones being released after a slow start to the season. Even then, it’s only $500K; Mark Kotsay is making double that next year.
Phillies sign DeWayne Wise to a minor league deal
The man who Jones somewhat replaces also found a new home before the holidays. Wise is best known for his ridiculous catch to preserve a perfect game last year. Presumably Wise will find some time on the Phillies’ bench throughout the long season.