Jacque Jones, Twins agree to deal
Jones, 34, broke into professional ball with Minnesota in 1996 as a second-round draft pick out of USC. He's a career .277 hitter with 165 home runs in 10 big league seasons with the Twins, Cubs, Tigers and Marlins.
Jones' best career season came in 2002, when he hit .300 with 27 homers and 85 RBIs for Minnesota. He hasn't played in the major leagues since 2008. He spent last season with the Newark Bears in the independent Atlantic League and told the Twins at the winter meetings he was interested in reviving his career and willing to go to Triple-A if necessary.
"He's been a good player. We know he's a good person. He plays the game the right way," general manager Bill Smith said. "He was a big part of the Twins' resurgence."
Jones was released by Cincinnati at the end of spring training last April after hitting .089 in 45 Grapefruit League at-bats. After failing to land a job, he continued to train at Mike Easler's hitting school in Las Vegas. In December, Jones traveled to the winter meetings in Indianapolis to meet with clubs and express his interest in a comeback.
Jones will compete for a spot off the bench at Minnesota's spring camp. The Twins have Michael Cuddyer in right field, Denard Span in center and Delmon Young in left, with Jason Kubel as the primary designated hitter and Jim Thome expected to be a left-handed bat off the bench and occasional DH.
Minnesota also announced Tuesday that outfielder Jason Pridie has been claimed off waivers by the New York Mets. That cleared a spot on the 40-man roster for recently signed second baseman Orlando Hudson.
Jerry Crasnick is a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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