Roundup: Andruw Jones makes Bronx return

Fifteen years after Andruw Jones became the youngest player ever to homer in the Fall Classic against the Yankees, Jones has joined them.

Jones, 34 next season, comes to the Bronx as a backup at all three outfield positions on a one-year deal worth $2 million and a potential $1.2 million more in incentives. His right-handed bat complements the left-handed hitting Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner, and the move should be one of the Yankees’ last before Spring Training begins next month.
Jones, who hit .230 with 19 home runs and 48 RBIs in 107 games for the White Sox in 2010, hit .400 in the Braves’ World Series loss to the Yankees in 1996. More memorable were the home runs he notched in his first two plate appearances — he was just 19.
Across town on Thursday, the Mets officially announced two moves of their own: the addition of right-hander Chris Young and outfielder Scott Hairston.
Young, 32 next season, has battled arm injuries for the last three seasons, but has always viewed the Mets as a fit. A fly-ball specialist, Young can benefit from Citi Field’s large dimensions, and he’s reunited with general manager Sandy Alderson, whom he worked with in San Diego.
“Unfortunately, the clock sort of ran out of time and I didn’t have the proper time that I needed to build up my arm strength,” Young said of the end of the 2010 season with the Padres, which he finished 2-0 with a .90 ERA in just 20 innings. “But I felt like I was confident. I was making progress and I was very happy with my mechanics, which is a big part of being efficient and healthy.”
Hairston, also formerly of the Padres, hit .210 with 10 homers last season in a reserve role, and he’s to battle for the same type of spot with Nick Evans. Hairston turns 31 in May.
Elsewhere around the Hot Stove:
  • The Cubs and their fifth-round Draft pick from 2010, Matt Szczur, agreed on a new Minor League deal worth a reported $1.5 million that commits Szczur officially to baseball. The two-way standout was a star receiver at Villanova, and was permitted to play his senior season this fall after signing a $100,000 deal after the Draft. This summer, Szczur was impressive in his brief pro baseball debut in 2010, opening with a 21-game hit streak.
  • The Giants settled on a one-year deal with arbitration-eligible left-hander Javier Lopez, who went 4-2 with a 2.34 ERA in 77 appearances between Pittsburgh and San Francisco last season. The deal is said to be worth close to $2.4 million. The Giants have only one arbitration-eligible player left to strike a deal with, Andres Torres.
  • The Giants are also nearing a deal with right-hander Jeff Suppan. The 36-year-old made half of his 30 appearances last year with Milwaukee and St. Louis as a reliever, going 3-8 with a 5.06 ERA in 101 1/3 innings.
  • The Blue Jays bolstered their farm system with the signing of 16-year-old Dominican lefthander Jairo Labour for $350,000, according to Baseball America. The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder has reportedly hit 92 mph.
  • Eric Chavez, previously linked to the Blue Jays and others, worked out for the Dodgers at their complex in Arizona. A California native, Chavez is only 33 but coming off four years of injuries, primarily to his shoulder and back. He hasn’t played more than 90 games in a season since 2006.
— Evan Drellich

1 Comment

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