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Dodgers: Signing Of Andruw Jones Still Gives LA Fans Nightmares

Each and every team in professional sports has a trade or transaction that didn’t quite go according to plan. Sometimes, those errant decisions haunt a fanbase long after the dust has settled. For Dodgers fans, signing outfielder Andruw Jones in December of 2007 for $18.1M per year still cuts deep.

Jomboy Media released a list of “moments & moves that haunt fans”. The list was based on an impassioned Dodgers fans call-in to their “Talkin’ Baseball” show.

Evidently, Ned Colleti’s signing of Jones still gives Dodgers fans nightmares. The Dodgers signed Jones to a $36.2M two-year deal in the winter of 2007. That year, Jones was the fifth highest paid player in baseball.

Jones was a five-time All-Star, ten-time Gold Glover winner, and one-time Silver Slugger when he signed with LA. He also won the 2005 MLB Players Choice Player of the Year award. Jones was a terrific defender and had a career .839 OPS in his 12 years with the Braves. He averaged 31 home runs and 93 RBI per year.

Colletti and the Dodgers were under the impression they were signing one of the best center fielders.

The Dodgers unfortunately paid big bucks for the worst offensive center fielder in baseball. Jones ranked dead last in his position in both wRC+ (38) and OPS (.505) for center fielders with a minimum of 200 plate appearances.

But the expensive ineptitude of Andruw Jones in 2008 has another layer for Dodgers fans.

In order to use their new shiny toy, the Dodgers relegated fan favorite Juan Pierre to a part-time role that April. Pierre and the majority of Dodgers fans were none too happy. Especially since the former Brave showed up to spring training overweight and out of shape.

Due to futility and a lingering knee injury, Jones played his 75th and final game for the Dodgers on September 9th. Colletti released him January of 2009.

They say time heals everything, but apparently it doesn’t heal $36.2M mistakes.

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  1. The absolute part of the “Andruw Jones Era” was his haughty attitude to under-performing. Coletti had also just signed Jason Schmidt the previous offseason too, so he needed a game-changer as I recall. Still amazing how quickly Andruw fell off the table, of course he was also coming off a .222 season – with 26 HR and 93 RBI as well – as a 30 yr old! He was just a shell of himself and washed up at 31.

  2. Jones was just one of several aging “sluggers” who were brought in because the Dodgers thought there was gas in their tanks in the lost years between 1990 and 2012. I’m not sure that any of those moves worked out, the but there’s no question that Strawberry, Bonilla and Davis were also big time duds.

  3. It’s easy to second guess GMs and I’ve certainly done it more than once. But this time I didn’t see it coming, I was enthused when they signed him, I expected very good things. I didn’t see his absolute collapse as a Dodger coming. He did have something of a resurgence after his departure, he was mediocre, not terrible, but never returned to the star status he had with the Braves.

    Unfortunately it’s always going to be a gamble, JT and Max Muncie have been incredible gems in recent years, but with it comes A Jones, Brian Wilson, Sergio Romo and others. I’m sure it happens to other teams, I just see it more with the Dodgers since they’re the ones I follow.

  4. I was always wondering if Jones had been on performance enhancing drugs while with the Braves and stopped using when he joined the Dodgers, perhaps because of increasing enforcement.

  5. Nothing…. absolutely nothing……. will EVER be a bigger disaster than trading Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields.

    • I agree totally. It’s one thing to buy a defective player on the market. It is quite another to give away a Saint with a perfect won/loss record and a 2.60 lifetime ERA. What bothered me most about the trade was it also effected the pitching of Pedro’s brother. The Martinez brothers, had they been able to stay as a team for the Dodgers, would have put them in contention for 20 years.

    • I agree totally. It’s one thing to buy a defective player on the market. It is quite another to give away a Saint with a perfect won/loss record and a 2.60 lifetime ERA. What bothered me most about the trade was it also effected the pitching of Pedro’s brother. The Martinez brothers, had they been able to stay as a team for the Dodgers, would have put them in contention for 20 years.

    • The fake Cy Young winner,out without bail,with a 3 year 102 million dollar contract is on the top of the nightmare list!

  6. Rainbirdmuse, thank you for the admission of the “Lost Years of 1990-2012”. Yours is the first public clarification I’ve read. I thought it was just me, what a dismal period in Dodger history. Even Shawn Greene couldn’t rescue it. I was so disengaged, the Andrew Jones Fiasco aludes me, but the Jason Schmidt BS still stings. Seeing Coletti on the pre and post shows makes me nauseous.

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