The Yankees could use a center fielder. Jones is a five-time All-Star center fielder. So naturally many people have e-mailed wondering if the Yankees are interested.
Being that I’m on vacation, I have no idea. I haven’t made any calls. But it’s something Brian Cashman and his people have to at least consider.
Jones was awful (.158/.256/.249) last season along with being out of shape. Worse, he didn’t seem to much care. He also has hit .205 since the start of the 2007 season. Scouts say his bat speed has vanished and that he doesn’t have the foot speed to get to balls in the gap like he used to. Look at this way, when Joe Torre decides an accomplished veteran player isn’t worth having around, that’s saying something.
But Jones turns 32 in April, young enough to think that he has a comeback in him. If he were amenable to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, what would the Yankees have to lose?
The question is whether Jones can do better. Perhaps there is a team out there that will trade something for him or give him a guaranteed deal. I suspect that at least one club (the Nationals, perhaps) will try and pick him up.
I’d want nothing to do with Jones. I’d rather see Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner compete for the position. The Yankees need to mix some young players into the lineup and they need a good glove in center to compensate for their defensive inadequacies elsewhere.