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Dodgers Sign Jones

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It wasn't too long ago some were wondering if Andruw Jones would have to settle on a year deal paying him around 10 million and leaving him a rebound season away from his payday, well that wasn't the case at all. Jones didn't get 10 million or a year, he got 36.2 million over two years, five million of which will actually come in 2010, whether Jones is with the Dodgers or not.

For Jones this is a great deal, not often can you rake in around 14.1 million after posting a career low OPS, but somehow Scott Boras convinced Ned Colleti to take the risk that Jones will bounce back. Of course when you think about it, this is easily Colleti's best move as a general manger, inking a future Hall of Famer for his 31 and 32 year old seasons without having to deal with the years thereafter shows great foresight.

As for what the two sides should expect on the field let's put the odds of Jones repeating his 5.4 VORP performance at "unlikely". Jones .222/.311/.413 slash stats were awful, and had quite a few asking if he remembered that he was in a career year - speaking of which can we lay that myth to bed yet? - apparently luck did, but Jones'? Not so much.

The three extremely notable changes were his line drive rates, BABIP, and homerun per flyball percentage. Where as most of his career he's had a LD% around 20 this year it was 17.2 as apposed to 19 and 16 in 2005 and 2006, that effects his xBABIP by about .020 points, and not surprisingly his BABIP went from .270 to .248, although interestingly in 2005 his BABIP was .244 but he actually had a higher batting average in 2005 than 2006, meaning something else had to be broken, and sure enough it was. His HR/FB% went from 22% last year and 25.2% two years ago down to 13.4% last year, the only explanation I have is either he got under more balls or was just simply unlucky.

Without seeing too many Braves games I'm going to assume he was unlucky, and agree with Bill James who projects a bounce back year for Jones at .253/.343/.491 with 34 pops, pretty equal to his career numbers and to the Dodgers likely worth the investment for his homerun power alone. I'll allow Boras and Jayson Stark to debate his defensive value, but I think everyone can agree bumping Juan Pierre out of center is good, now if they'll just find a way to knock him off of the team for good.

Also a minor deal today as the Rangers and Tigers hooked up to trade outfielder Freddy Guzman for first baseman Chris Shelton. Everyone remembers Shelton for his homerun spree not too long ago, but he may get a legit shot at the Rangers' first base job, meanwhile Guzman allows the Tigers to move Marcus Thames if they so desire.