The New York Mets DO NOT Need Andruw Jones

Reports have the Los Angeles Dodgers restructuring the contract of outfielder Andruw Jones, deferring many millions of dollars. This move comes literally hours after word leaked that their rival, the San Francisco Giants made a three year offer to free agent outfielder Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers are desperate to re-sign Ramirez to help bolster an offense revitalized after Manny’s mid-season arrival from Boston in 2008.

The Dodgers NEED Ramirez, both for their own team and to not let him go to an inter-divisional rival. Same thing happened recently in the AL East, when the Red Sox were desperate to land Mark Teixeira, only to see him land in the Bronx. 

The proverbial double whammy!

But, the Dodgers redid Jones’ deal to save them money in 2009, help in upping their offer to Manny, and make Jones more appealing to potential trading partners.

One of those trading partners SHOULD NOT be the New York Mets.

Several national writers think that because of thew lower salary, that a Andruw Jones/Luis Castillo trade would be a good fit for the Mets. Whether his 2009 salary is $5 million of $25 million, Jones is still not going to provide any semblance of the player he was a few years ago.

He is not that great a defender anymore. With age, and that added weight, he had a tough time getting to balls hit near the track, and the defense will only get worse. While he is still only 32, he has played major league ball for 13 seasons, which does take its toll on the body. Jones has begun to break down physically, and his offensive numbers have been in decline for several years in a row.

So why take him on the team? Because he hit 41 homers TWO years ago? That was when Jones was in his late 20’s. Now he is in his early 30’s. Big difference there. Jones has also hit only a combined .205 over the last two seasons.

Readers in their early 30’s: Ask yourself if you feel better now than you did three years ago. Likely you don’t.

If obtained by the Mets, Andruw Jones would join a cast of overpaid, aging and underperforming veterans the Mets have been involved with over the last several years. Players such as Moises Alou, Orlando Hernandez, Jeff Conine, Julio Franco, Chan Ho Park and up until July 2008 even Carlos Delgado. And I didn’t even mention Pedro’s name.

The Mets have been a team of broken down older players for a few years now. Why go down the road with another one?

Nobody is busting down the door for these aging players. Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu and even Pedro can be had for only MONEY, and no loss of a draft pick, but nobody cares!

It is a young mans game now, as the Rays, Phillies and Twins proved in 2008.

Also, why would the Dodgers need Luis Castillo? They were only  looking to maybe trade for him to get rid of Jones, but that was when Jones was going to make much more in 2009. Now that the money is deferred, there is no need for the Dodgers to trade him for an aging player coming off a sub par season. The Dodgers are looking to cut salary and get rid of feeble over paid, underperforming veterans, not bring another one on board.

It is going to be very difficult for the Mets to deal Castillo. Teams around the league are seeking to cut salary and get younger. Based on Castillo’s salary and who he is (won a World Series in 2003 with Florida), he should given the second base job for April and May, then the Mets can determine his status for the remainder of his contract.

If he performs like his game is predicated (good defense, getting on base, using his speed) then you keep him as the second baseman.

If he continues to falter and his knees are not better, then you release him and eat the money.

And what is with the love affair with Orlando Hudson? Do Met fans really want to give this 31 year old guy $10 million per season for three or more years? He has performed better in hitter friendly Arizona the last two years, especially the power numbers. How do you think his numbers will play out in new Citi Field? Could he be another aging veteran booed repeatedly in New York?

It is a young mans game and the Mets need to get younger, not older. It is difficult to deal with the three years remaining on Luis Castillo’s contract, so the Mets might have to just deal with it.

Too many baseball people talk about the need to get younger, but when an aging veteran on the downside comes available or is a free agent, the same people always want to sign the veteran. That is what gets teams in trouble with contracts for aging players.

Again, why would the Mets want or need Andruw Jones? If it is because he is cheaper, it is a stupid move. I wouldn’t even sign Jones if he was released by the Dodgers, and only cost the new team $440,000. His presence will just cost the Mets needed experience for another young player.

If he is healthy, by mid season, Fernando Martinez should be promoted and allowed to play. He will put up better results than an overpaid and overweight Andruw Jones.

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