Andruw Jones rejuvenation project, take two. Credit the Rangers for making a low-risk potentially high-reward move with Jones. Similar to the Omar Vizquel signing, if Jones makes the team and causes Josh Hamilton to shift to a corner outfield slot the Rangers defense will be much improved. Say what you want about the likelihood of Jones’ bat returning to the old days or the land of league average, but he’s still a decent defensive center fielder A replication of his 2007 season would still make Jones a pretty damn valuable player.
Did you know Donnelly was actually in the majors in 2007 and 2008? Yep, in 2007 he appeared in 27 games for the Red Sox, and last year in 15 for the Indians. Donnelly was actually decent for the Red Sox, but gave up a couple of homeruns and walked too many in his short Indians career. Donnelly also gave up 24.5% liners. For a team that lost Joaquin Benoit not too long ago, they need as many relief options as possible.
Unlike last year, if Jennings is hurt it won’t cost Texas four million in sunk costs, and if he’s healthy enough to be a ~2 win pitcher like the days of the past? Well, then the Rangers can come out even.
I promised myself I would withhold from making a Dusty Baker joke or related comment of sardonic nature within this write-up, and by golly am I going to stick to that.
Jones off-season included vision correction surgery and while there’s a possibility his eyes were the problem last season, what about all the years of moderate success? Jones had the worst offensive season of his career despite seeing his best walk rate. Jones power absolutely vanished, a 0.060 ISO is equal to Willie Bloomquist’s career average – and that’s after Bloomquist went nearly a year without an extra base hit. 2007 looked like a banner defensive season for Jones, as he +/- rated him at +12 in center and +2 in right, but alas last season Jones reverted to his career norms. Jones is a slightly above average fielder with an average-to-below-average bat in a corner outfield slot.
Ward is another former Cub, and one who happens to be a replacement level first baseman. Okay, that makes him sound like an extremely poor player, but assuming the Reds don’t bench Joey Votto for him – must resist Baker joke – Ward’s unlikely to make much of a difference either way.
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