The Dodgers have signed infielder Jahmai Jones to a minor league contract, according to his transactions tracker at MLB.com. MLBTR’s Steve Adams reports that it’s a two-year contract, since Jones will miss the remainder of this year after having undergone Tommy John surgery.
Jones, 25, was a second-round pick of the Angels and made his MLB debut with them in 2020. He was a highly-touted part of their system, with Baseball America placing him on their list of top Angel farmhands starting in 2016 and even ranking him #89 in all of baseball in 2018. He went to the Orioles in the trade that sent Alex Cobb to the Halos prior to the 2021 campaign. Between the two clubs, he’s gotten into 29 MLB games, hitting .176/.228/.216 in that small sample.
He’s generally fared better in the minors, however, hitting .243/.337/.431 in Triple-A last year. He walked in 11.9% of his plate appearances and stole 11 bases in just 70 games. His offense was 6% better than league average by measure of wRC+ and he was also versatile enough to play both second base and left field, along with a very brief cameo in center.
This year, his production slipped a bit, though in a small sample of 27 games, with his injury potentially playing a role there. He underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of May. Jones was on optional assignment at the time, continuing to occupy a spot on the 40-man roster. The Orioles could have added him to the 60-day IL, which would have removed him from the 40-man, though that would have also entitled him to MLB service time and pay. Instead, the club designated him for assignment and, since injured players can’t be put on outright waivers, put him on release waivers.
Though Jones won’t return this season, the Dodgers are making a long-term play with these two-year deal. In the short term, Jones can use team facilities and staff as part of his rehab, later allowing the Dodgers to add a former top prospect as a depth option.