Atlanta May Yet Have Interest in Jones

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Braves may have some interest in re-signing outfielder Andruw Jones, if the Dodgers release him. GM Ned Colletti is attempting to trade the outfielder, but if that fails, he will be given his release.

The Dodgers worked out a deal with Jonne's agent, Scott Boras, to defer most of the $22.1 million he has remaining on his two-year, $36.2 million contract.

Jones will earn $5 million this season, which still may be too hefty a price for any team to pay a player who had knee surgery this past season, his first in Los Angeles, and could only produce a .158 average with three homers, 14 RBIs, 33 hits and 76 strikeouts in 209 at-bats.

Boras said that the Dodgers will release Jones on Jan. 15 if they can't trade him by then, the newspaper reported. The Dodgers have not commented on that or confirmed that deadline exists.

In the case he is released, any team could sign Jones for the minimum of $400,000 while the Dodgers have to pay the remainder of his contract. That would be some savings for the club because if they release him, the Dodgers would have to pay the remainder of that contract in any event.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Dodgers considered trying to void Andruw Jones' contract before waiving any possible action as part of his contract restructuring, two high-ranking baseball sources said.

Jones' includes a provision that the Dodgers will pursue no future claims against Jones, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been publicly disclosed.

This demonstrates the degree of the Dodgers' frustration with Jones, who signed a two-year, $36.2-million contract last winter, then reported to spring training significantly overweight.

According to the sources, the Dodgers even suggested to the commissioner's office and the players' union that they explore their contractual right to terminate the deal of any player who "shall at any time fail, refuse or neglect . . . to keep himself in first-class physical condition or to obey the club's training rules."

Such action would have been vigorously contested by the players' union. The sources said they could not recall any instance of an arbitrator ruling that a player had to forfeit any part of a guaranteed contract under such circumstances.

Jones played for the Braves from 1996 until he became a free agent at the end of the 2007 season. He hit 368 of his 371 homers for Atlanta.

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