Manny's Arrival Gives Dodgers Options On Andruw

Abner LopeCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2008

Okay, Dodger fans. LA went out and got the real deal - a bona fide slugger with a loud bat that boasts over 500 career HRs. Manny came to Chavez Ravine and wasted no time showing fans what Andruw Jones was supposed to deliver: hits, home runs and RBIs. Great. Wonderful.

Now that LA has Manny, there is no longer any need to cross fingers, offer sacrifices to the baseball gods, or plead with Mattingly to spot and seal the gaping hole in Andruw's swing.

But now comes the $36 million question: What do the Dodgers do with Andruw?

They cannot send him to the minors without his consent because he is a 5-year MLB veteran. They can bench him to give Pierre (.280, 0 HRs) and Ethier (.274, 11 HRs) some ABs while Jones (.161, 2 HRs) becomes the highest paid sub in the history of the game. Should the Dodgers keep him around, he may feed off of Manny the way he fed off of Chipper in Atlanta and become the hitter he once was; but we're back to hoping all over again.

If by some miracle Jones does consent to being sent back to AAA or even AA ball and the Dodgers can admit their $36 million investment needs some maturing, that would allow Torre a luxury he hasn't always had in LA: writing in the optimum offensive outfield lineup out of conviction and not out of hope.