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Dodgers Inexplicably Sign Jones

Andruw JonesI was sure that Andruw Jones was going to sign a one-year deal somewhere and test the free agent market again. Simply put, I did not think any team would give him an offer close to what he was demanding for more than a year, given the disappointing year he just had, and his once stellar defense that continues to decline at an alarming rate. The Dodgers proved me wrong, giving him a two-year deal worth a total of $36.2 million. The deal reportedly includes a $12.2 million signing bonus, with base salaries of $9 million in 2008 and $15 million in 2009. It also includes a no-trade clause.

Andruw Jones, according to my hitter rating formula, was a 72 last year. That makes him worth approximately $5.2 million on the open market. However, his agent, none other than the notorious Scott Boras, argued that the whole body of Jones's work had to be considered. Boras conceded that Jones had a down year, but even in his worst year he had 26 home runs, 94 RBIs, and another gold-glove year. Taking Andruw's career numbers and plugging them into my hitter rating formula, he registers an 80, which is worth about $9 million on the open market. Even if a team believed his defense is second to none (which is far from true at this point; he is living on reputation), he would have to cover multiple outfield spots at the same time to earn the money the Dodgers gave him. There is no justification whatsoever for the money Andruw Jones received.

What's even more ridiculous is that Jones doesn't even improve the Dodgers. He is actually a downgrade! Without Jones, the Dodgers were looking at starting Andre Ethier (79), Juan Pierre (79), and Matt Kemp (80). With Jones, Kemp and Ethier will likely platoon in right field, which is a shame because both are good enough to start for them right now, and they both have promising upside. It's unbelievable that the Dodgers willingly paid $36.5 million for a downgrade.

The only way signing Andruw Jones make a shred of sense is if Los Angeles uses Matt Kemp to acquire a great starting pitcher. They likely have the pieces to get a big deal done, but Matt Kemp was reportedly already a part of all their packages, so I wonder if L.A. will actually sweeten their offers with Jones in the fold. I really don't get the Dodgers at all. They have a ton of tremendous young talent, but they are reluctant to give any of it a chance to play in the majors, and they are also reluctant to trade any of it. They are rendering their greatest asset useless. Between the young talent they have and vast resources they have because of the market they are in, they have no excuse for continually being mediocre.