Rumors: Yankees Step Up Pursuit of Andruw Jones

Bronx Baseball DailySenior Analyst IJanuary 16, 2011

Via Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated:

"Yankees step up pursuit of Andruw Jones. Rays, several others in mix. [Johnny Damon] could be possibility or either team also."

The Yankees seem to be okay standing pat with their current rotation, as they were never really in the mix for Jeff Francis, who recently signed with the Royals. So this move makes sense, as it is addressing their next biggest need.

Heyman tweeted earlier in the week that the Yankees and Jones were far apart on money, but hopefully they come together quickly here. Their need is for a right handed hitting outfielder to compliment Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson.

Jones fits that description and Damon does not. Since they don’t seem interested in Scott Hairston, hopefully they will do what they have to to avoid adding the wrong piece.

Jones, still just 33, can play adequately at all three outfield positions. He also mashes lefties, putting up a .931 OPS against them in 86 at-bats last season. In contrast, Damon is 37, primarily a DH at this point in his career and had a .740 OPS against lefties in 2010. Even in 2009, his OPS against lefties was only .776.

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