The New York Yankees agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with Andruw Jones on Thursday to replace Marcus Thames as a right-handed-hitting fourth outfielder.
While Jones, a 10-time Gold Glove winner, is not the same outfielder he was 13 years ago when he was still breaking into the Majors, he's still a far better defensive option than Thames.
But at what cost?
Jones hit just .230 last year with the Chicago White Sox, and what's scarier is that was his highest average since 2006.
Thames, who put up a .288/.350/.491 line last season, was better in all three categories, and he hit .300 against lefties, while Jones hit just .256.
In fact, over the past four years, Thames has a higher overall batting average (.253 vs. .212) and slugging percentage (.491 vs. .412) than Jones.
Starters Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson are both fine defensive outfielders, so shouldn't the main purpose of a backup be to pinch-hit for guys who both struggle against southpaws? (Gardner hit .252 and Granderson hit .234 off them last year.)
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Jordan Schwartz is one of Bleacher Report's New York Yankees and College Basketball Featured Columnists. His book Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and authorhouse.com.
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