Dodgers Waive Goodbye to Jones

Barely one year after making Andruw Jones the highest-paid player in franchise history, the Dodgers released him. Jones, a $36.2 million bust, signed to be answer to the Dodgers' power-hitting problems but he was injured part of last season and was embarrassingly ineffective the rest of the time, hitting only .158 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 75 games.

"Obviously, this is a disappointing day for both us and Andruw, as we all had high hopes for him when he signed last year given his track record and everything that we had seen from him in the past and heard about him," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a statement.

"I know that Andruw is also very disappointed in the way things turned out and the best thing to do at this point is to turn the page and we wish him well."

Now if Jones finds another job, the signing club will be responsible for only the Major League minimum salary offset ($400,000), with the Dodgers paying the rest. Speculation has centered on Jones returning to his original team, the Braves. Jones has been working out recently with former Braves teammates at Turner Field.

The 31-year-old center fielder was booed loudly by fans after he reported to spring training overweight and struggled at the plate during the season. He had knee surgery in May and finished the season on the bench as the Dodgers won the NL West and beat the Cubs in the NL Division Series before losing to the Phillies in the NL Championship Series.

Jones asked to be traded after that and the Dodgers tried but found no teams interested. After reworking his contract, the Dodgers still owe Jones $22.1 million, which he'll receive over the next six years.

Jones, signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Braves in July 1993, made his big league debut on Aug. 14, 1996, as a 19-year-old rookie and hit .400 with two homers and six RBIs in the World Series against the Yankees.

He became a regular the following season and took off in 2000, hitting a career-best .303 with 36 homers and 104 RBIs. He hit .263 with a career-high 51 homers and 128 RBIs in 2005 and .262 with 41 homers and a career-best 129 RBIs in 2006. He dipped to a career-low .222 with 26 homers and 94 RBIs in his final year with the Braves, giving an indication as to what was to come with the Dodgers.

He came to Los Angeles having hit at least 25 homers in 10 straight seasons, only the 14th player to accomplish such a feat. He also played in 1,730 games between 1997 and 2007, never once going on the disabled list but all that changed when he put on the Dodgers uniform.