Heyman: Yankees Might Consider Andruw Jones or Johnny Damon

Via Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated:

The Yankees are looking for outfield depth and might consider Andruw Jones as well ex-Yankee Johnny Damon.

An important thing to point out here is that this is not a rumor, it’s pure speculation on Heyman’s part. Still I thought it was interesting to talk about.

We heard the rumors about Damon already and it appears the Yankees won’t go that way. They are looking for a right handed hitting outfielder that they can use contrasting to their lefties Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner. Damon is looking for a place where he can get regular playing time and it doesn’t look like the Yankees can provide much time for him with their outfield and DH spots filled.

No, Damon might not be a good fit, but Jones could be. Jones, 33 until April 23, is clearly not the player he once was. He’s slower, not as good defensively, and his offensive numbers are down across the board. But as a bench option he’s actually quite attractive.

Over the past four years Jones has had a terribly low batting average, .212, but he does still have patience at the plate and a bit of pop in his bat. His slugging percentage of .412 during that time is poor, but it is due mostly to an extremely bad 2008 season where it dropped to .249. Since then he’s had SLG numbers of .459 and .486 last year. Realistically it isn’t out of whack to expect Jones to put up an OPS+ of around 100-110 next season.

Also, while his defense has slipped that’s mostly because he was one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. Today he is capable of playing all three outfield positions at about league average. Meaning he wouldn’t be a liability defensively no matter whom he was spelling on a particular day.

Most importantly this right handed bat crushes lefties. Last season he hit .256 with a .931 OPS against lefties. Even in his truly pathetic season of 2008 Jones still had an OPS about 200 points better against lefties than righties.

Because of the fact that his bat is not as pathetic as his average, he provides decent defense at all outfield positions, and his splits against lefties make Jones one of the ideal fourth outfield candidates.

What do you think? Would you like to see Jones coming off the bench for the 2011 Yankees or should they be considering other options?

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8 Responses to Heyman: Yankees Might Consider Andruw Jones or Johnny Damon

  1. Bronx Knight says:

    I like the idea. Five-time All-Star, on the rebound from injuries, played solid ball as a role-player past two years with Texas and Chicago. I could see him as a Darryl Strawberry type (late 90′s Yankees version), veteran bat with lots of power who can also play the field. (Incidentally, the career trajectories of Strawberry and Jones are uncannily similar — HOF trajectory from ages 21 to 29, then off a cliff.)

    Question is cost, however. He made $3.7M last year, albeit Chicago paid only $500,000 of that (balance from the Dodgers). How much is a veteran role player worth? How much would he want?

  2. Brandon says:

    i was thinking the same thing!!! AJones would be a perfect fit for the Yankees. He still has alot of pop in his bat. He would help them not skipp abeat if one of the 3 gets injured.

  3. Tanned Tom says:

    Although he is not so hot in the field, Thames is a much better hitter for these purposes.

    • The Yankees refuse to use Thames as an outfielder and already have a full-time DH. Thames is almost definitely not coming back.

      Jones on the other hand is an outfielder. Hence why they could have interest in him.

  4. Ryan says:

    I would like to see the Yanks take a chance on Lastings Milledge. He has been full of himself but the Yankee clubhouse would cool that down since he wont be the best TALENT on the team and he is good defense and only 25 or 26. He could be the kind of signing Jayson Werth was to the Phillies. A low risk with high potential. Any thoughts?

    • Milledge does not compare to Jayson Werth. Not now or not ever. Also, about 5-6 years ago the Yankees clubhouse was a mess. They’ve worked very hard to change that to the point where it is a very good clubhouse with a great attitude. Signing Milledge would not only ruin that, but it would be out of character for Cashman over the past few years.

  5. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    What do you all think of Dye? The guy hasn’t played since 09 and he’s no spring chicken but he had pretty good numbers the last few years and he is a righty.

    He says he won’t play for a lowball offer so I’m not sure how much that means. It wouldn’t bother me if the Yanks gave him a $3M contract with incentives that may get to ~$4-$5M.