CF Jones to stay with Rangers for now
Jones said Friday he agreed with the Rangers to extend by three days a provision in his minor league contract that would allow the five-time All-Star to become a free agent if he's not put on the big league roster. That pushed the deadline to Monday.
"We've got to the 23rd to make a decision and see what's going to happen," Jones said. "Both sides are OK with it. They asked me to give them a couple of more days to see what decision they're going to make. Now we just have to wait and see what's going to happen."
Jones has not played in the Cactus League game for the Rangers since March 13, though he said he expected to play Saturday against Colorado.
Texas played in Tucson against the Rockies on Friday. The players for that game, including most of the regular starting lineup, had already left when Jones dressed in the clubhouse to prepare for workouts at the spring training complex.
While Jones likes the Rangers, he said he has no interest in playing in the minor leagues during the regular season.
"All these guys are great guys. They all pull together and I think we have a great team," Jones said. "I knew when I came it would be a tough situation to make the team and that's what it is right here. If it works out, it would be an honor for me to stay here. ... If it doesn't work out, there are probably going to be more opportunities out there."
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Texas has a set outfield, with All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton in center, Nelson Cruz in right and David Murphy or Marlon Byrd in left. Frank Catalanotto, owed $4 million by the Rangers this season, is the fifth outfielder.
Jones has hit .258 with one home run and two RBIs in 13 spring training games, and has struck out 14 times in 31 at-bats. The 10-time Gold Glove center fielder has appeared only in minor league exhibitions this week, and hit two home runs in one of the games.
If added to the big league roster, Jones would get a $500,000, one-year contract and the chance to earn up to $1 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances from 340 to 620.
General manager Jon Daniels said Thursday that Jones has had a good camp, as have the other outfielders.
Jones' opportunities in spring training games became limited after Cruz and Catalanotto returned to camp from the World Baseball Classic.
Jones, who turns 32 on April 23, hit 51 home runs with 128 RBIs in 2005 with Atlanta, but has only a .205 batting average the past two seasons. Jones hit .158 with three home runs in 75 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year, when he went on the disabled list three times and had right knee surgery.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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