As was first reported by Nikkan Sports last week, the Rakuten Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League have an agreement in place with Andruw Jones. Jones will join the Eagles on a one-year $3.5 million deal, pending a physical.
Jones made his Major League debut with the Atlanta Braves in 1996 at the age of 19. He was among the game’s best defensive outfielders for ten years, and one of its most prolific sluggers. By the time he was 29, Jones had posted nine seasons worth at least five wins by Fangraphs’ measure of the statistic. Then, seemingly overnight, his skill set evaporated.
With stops in Los Angeles with the Dodgers, Texas, Chicago, and finally with the Yankees in New York, Jones stumbled around the outfield as a part-time player showing brief flashes of the power that was once a staple in his game. Assuming this is the end of the line for Jones in Major League Baseball, he will finish with a batting line of .254/.337./.486 to go along with 434 home runs and a .352 wOBA. He was a five-time All-Star and a ten-time Gold Glove recipient.
Remember Andruw Jones however you see fit, for I will hold these two animated images close to my heart: