Andruw Jones Re-Signs With Rakuten Golden Eagles

Former Major League All-Star Andruw Jones has re-signed a one-year deal with Nippon Professional Baseball's Rakuten Golden Eagles, according to a report from Nikkan Sports (Japanese link). Rakuten has since announced the deal's value at 400 million Yen, or roughly $3.8MM. Jones is represented by agent Scott Boras.

Jones played for the Golden Eagles last season alongside new Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee and the offseason's hottest commodity, Masahiro Tanaka. In 604 plate appearances with Rakuten, Jones batted .243/.391/.454 with 26 home runs. He struck out in more than 27 percent of his plate appearances but also walked at a whopping 17.3 percent clip (in addition to getting hit by 15 pitches).

The 36-year-old last appeared in the Majors with the Yankees in 2011-12. After a strong .247/.356/.495 batting line in his first season with the Bombers, Jones slipped to .197/.294/.408 in 2012, prompting him to sign in NPB the following offseason. In parts of 17 Major League seasons, Jones batted .254/.337/.486 with 434 home runs and won 10 consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1998-2007.

MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reports that Jones drew interest from two Major League clubs but elected to return to Japan. Jones will play the 2014 season alongside fellow former All-Star Kevin Youkilis, who signed a one-year deal with Rakuten this offseason as well.

14 Responses to Andruw Jones Re-Signs With Rakuten Golden Eagles Leave a Reply

  1. MB923 1 year ago

    Jones and Youk from Yankees to Golden Eagles. Tanaka from Golden Eagles to Yankees? Ehh I’m about 50/50 on it. I think Tanaka goes to either NY or Seattle.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      Maybe NYY can send Wells and Ichiro to the Golden Eagles too

    • DerekJeterDan 1 year ago

      Rakuten has had many former Yankees — Soon to be Kevin Youkilis next year. But last years roster off the top of my head had Casey McGehee, Andruw Jones, and Darrell Rasner as well. Pretty interesting to see the connection.

      • MB923 1 year ago

        Oh my I forgot McGhee last played for the Yankees before he went to Japan.

        I completely forgot about Darrel Rasner though

        • DerekJeterDan 1 year ago

          Same here! Had no idea about what happened to Rasner until reading up on Tanaka and Rakuten.

  2. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    The Golden Eagles have become the retirement home for former Yankees.

    • Ruben_Tomorrow 1 year ago

      Which is interesting when you think about it, because the Yankees are seen as the retirement home for big leaguers.

      • MB923 1 year ago

        Mehh, most of their old players tend to sign a deal elsewhere after they leave NY – Matsui, Damon, Ibanez, Giambi, and Chavez to name some.

        I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ichiro do the same thing after next year.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        Like all senior services there are different levels of care, assisted living, retirement home, nursing home ect… The Golden eagles are a step beyond the NYY. Instead of just getting a short porch and hitter friendly home park member of the Golden Eagles get to feast on low level pitching talent.

      • Lionel Bossman Craft 1 year ago

        The Yankees aren’t even the oldest team.

  3. MaineBaseball 1 year ago

    It’s a shame that Jones regressed this much and at the age he did because he could have been a solid Hall of Fame candidate. Imagine if he had hit around 40 home runs a couple more times?

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      Yep, he was on the fast track to cooperstown. I remember even thinking he had a very good shot at 700 hr. He completely fell apart before he was 30, and he still has over 400 hr. terrific cfer too in his prime.

      • Tko11 1 year ago

        Are you sure hes natty? A decline like that can very well be because of the absence of a certain substance. I suppose you can question any power hitter in that era though…

    • dunnetg 1 year ago

      I think Jones is a solid candidate in a Hall that already includes Andre Dawson. Their offensive stats are close, with very similar slash lines and almost identical home run totals. They both won one home run title and one RBI title each. Dawson was a bit better with the bat, but not by much.

      Defensively, same thing but in the other direction. Dawson won eight Gold Gloves (even if a number of them were given on reputation), while Jones was one of the best defensive players ever and arguably the best center fielder of all time.

      In terms of WAR, Dawson has just a minor edge, 64.4 to 62.7 for Jones. He also has a bit of extra hardware, with a ROY and an (entirely undeserved) NL MVP award.

      If it wasn’t for Andruw’s apparent inability to say no to a box of donuts and subsequent decline, it would even be a question – 500 homers and a dozen Gold Gloves ought to be automatic. But even acknowledging the abrupt end to his superstar days, he was still about as good as The Hawk over the span of his MLB career.

      Of course, whether or not Dawson deserved the Hall in the first class is an entirely different question :)

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