Just filed this for tomorrow’s paper. If Andruw’s market doesn’t increase, I could see Boras letting him do a one-year deal like he did for Pudge with Florida back in 2003, then trying free agency the next year. But they have to get a lot more desperate than they apparently are now before that will happen. Stay tuned.
By Tony Jackson
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Dodgers’ brief flirtation with free-agent center fielder Andruw Jones came to an abrupt end — for now, anyway — after club officials spoke on Monday with Scott Boras, the Newport Beach-based agent who represents Jones.
“We are nowhere close to a deal,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. “I had the intention of making an offer, but as it stands, it would have been foolish to do so.”
Colletti left the door open to continue negotiations, but only slightly.
“I’m not sure how we would explore it from here when the distance is that great,” Colletti said. “Those explorations would probably have to come from the other side.”
Boras is believed to be seeking a contract for Jones, a 10-time Gold Glove winner while with Atlanta, in the neighborhood of the five-year, $90 million deal center fielder Torii Hunter signed last week with the Angels. But Jones is coming off his worst offensive season in a decade — he hit just .222, and his 26 home runs matched his lowest total since 1997, his second full year in the majors — and his market appears to be limited.
Given that, Jones might eventually settle for a shorter-term deal to possibly put up better numbers and drive up his price for another run at free agency in a year or two.
The Dodgers turned their attention to Jones when they found another free-agent center fielder, Aaron Rowand, also beyond their price range. Rowand is believed to be seeking a five-year deal worth about $70 million. Unless either Jones or Rowand reduces his asking price — or the Dodgers’ tepid interest in free-agent Mike Cameron increases dramatically — the club apparently will go into next season with an outfield of Andre Ethier, Juan Pierre and Matt Kemp, something Colletti has repeatedly said he is comfortable doing.