Rangers, Jones agree to deal
Several media outlets reported Sunday that Texas will sign Jones to a minor league deal that will pay him $500,000 if he makes the major league team. He also will have the chance to make $1 million in incentives.
"He's a long shot to make the team as we sit today but an interesting reclamation project," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Daniels also confirmed the deal will probably be announced within the next two days.
Jones reportedly turned down an offer from the New York Yankees to compete for an outfield spot. A source told the New York Post that Jones picked the Rangers so he could work with batting coach Rudy Jaramillo.
"He's certainly been a superstar for quite a few years," Rangers manager Ron Washington said, according to MLB.com. "These past few years have been down for him, but I like the fact that he brings 10 Gold Gloves, he's a winner and he fits well into our clubhouse. He has something to prove. We've got him in camp now, we'll see where he goes from here."
Heralded as the answer to the Dodgers' power-hitting void when he signed his rich two-year, $36.2 million contract in December 2007, Jones was injured part of last season and was mostly ineffective otherwise, hitting only .158 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 75 games.
The 31-year-old center fielder reported to spring training overweight, then was booed roundly by fans as he struggled at the plate during the season. He had knee surgery in May and finished the season on the bench as the Dodgers won the NL West and beat the Chicago Cubs in the NL divisional series before losing to Philadelphia in the NL Championship Series.
Jones asked to be traded after that and the Dodgers tried, but found no takers. The Dodgers owe Jones $22.1 million, which he'll receive over the next six years.
When the Dodgers added Manny Ramirez in a trade deadline deal July 31, that left Jones with minimal opportunities. But with the staggering performance by Ramirez (.396 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 games) and the fine work of fellow outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, Jones was hardly missed.
Jones came to Los Angeles as a five-time All-Star who had won 10 straight Gold Gloves with the Atlanta Braves and as one of 10 players in baseball history to hit 300 homers before the age of 30. He had 342, tying him with Mel Ott and Henry Aaron for the sixth-youngest player to reach that milestone.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.