Dodgers sign Jones to a two-year deal
Five-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove center fielder comes to Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that they have signed free agent center fielder Andruw Jones to a two-year contract, according to Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti."Andruw provides a power bat for the middle of our lineup and he is among the best defensive outfielders in all of baseball," said Colletti. "He has a decade of postseason experience and adding him to the core of talented players already in place was one of our top offseason priorities." Jones, 30, has a .263 career batting average with 368 home runs, 1,117 RBI, a .342 on-base percentage and a .497 slugging percentage in 12 big league seasons with the Atlanta Braves. He has been named to the National League All-Star team five times and earned his 10th consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2007. The all-time record for Gold Gloves by an outfielder is 12, held by Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente. The Curacao native finished second in National League MVP voting in 2005 when he led the Majors with 51 homers and led the NL with 128 runs batted in. Over the past 10 seasons, in addition to earning a Gold Glove each year, Jones has averaged 35 home runs and 103 RBI and he has topped the 25-homer mark in each of those campaigns. In his 12 Major League seasons, Jones has appeared in the postseason 10 times while hitting .273 with 10 homers and 33 RBI in 17 playoff series. Since his first full season in the Majors in 1997, Jones has appeared in more games than any other big league player (1,730) and he has never spent time on the disabled list. His 363 homers during that period are the eighth-most in baseball behind Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Carlos Delgado and Vladimir Guerrero. He also ranks eighth among all Major Leaguers with 1,104 RBI during that span. Jones has registered 101 assists since 1997, the most of any big league center fielder, and his 4,486 putouts since reaching the big leagues top all Major League outfielders by more than 500 (Johnny Damon ranks second with 3,980). Jones reached the Major Leagues as a 19-year-old in 1996 and was the youngest player in baseball that season. He became the first National League player and second in Major League history to homer in his first two World Series at-bats. He was the youngest player to ever homer in the Fall Classic (19 years, five months, 27 days) and remained the youngest player in all of baseball the following year in 1997 when, as a 20-year-old, he finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting.
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