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Friday, January 02, 2009

Dodgers Working On Moving Andruw Jones; Better Get A Forklift, Ned

Reports from the Times' T.J. Simers and Jon Heyman indicate the Dodgers are working on a way to move Andruw Jones. Heyman in particular says the Dodgers are reworking his deal so the team can ship him out elsewhere.

Update: dodgers.com says the deal will allow Jones to be traded or DFA'd:

Andruw Jones and the Dodgers have reached an agreement to defer much of his remaining salary while virtually assuring he will not be with the club in 2009.

Jones will either be traded or released before the start of Spring Training and perhaps sometime this month, according to an industry source.

The agreement will allow Jones a fresh start elsewhere after a nightmare of a first season and provide the Dodgers with additional payroll flexibility that could be used to re-sign free-agent outfielder Manny Ramirez.

The Major League Baseball Players Association approved the unusual agreement because Jones will receive his entire salary, as well as the possible benefit of free agency should he be released.

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Comments:
I don't know exactly what kind of "re-working" can be done; Jones isn't going to give up any money, obviously (I think the MLBPA would forbid it in any event), except to the extent that another team is willing to take up the slack (and who would pay anything more than league minimum)? I suspect this is a Boras-initiated and motivated move. I'm a bit skeptical that the Giants are really interested in 4 years of Man-Ram, although it wouldn't be the first time they gave too many years and too much money to a vet (see, e.g, Vizquel, O). Boras has clearly surveyed the landscape, and has realized that the only realistic destinations for Man-Ram are the Dodgers, Yankees (Man-Ram + NY media = recipe for fun), and maybe now the Giants. The Dodgers might be willing to give Manny $27 mil/year for 3 years, and that would probably get a deal done.
 
What is likely is that his deal can be renegotiated so that the remaining $22M can be stretched out over a longer period of time. What's interesting is that the time value becomes a factor.
 

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