Congrats to me I am actually posting for the second consecutive day. Okay so maybe I have a little ground to cover before I become the Cal Ripken of bloggers but it is a start.
Like most you, I recently read the MLB.COM article about Andruw Jones stating, "But my heart is in Atlanta. I would love to finish my career in Atlanta." I will be honest I had already begun shopping around the league for Andruw’s replacement. The chance of him returning to Atlanta seemed to be far from obtainable. I mean with the current free agent market and the Atlanta $80 Million Payroll situation. I was searching the farm system for the next Andruw.
Upon reading this my hard stance that he was already out the door shifted a tad bit. I am still not convinced he will be playing centerfield in Atlanta next year. I do believe more than any other player in the game Andruw is sincere about giving the Braves a small discount. Small being the key word. The Red Sox, Yankees, Angels and Dodgers will be trying to pick him up after next season with an armored bank truck. I still think the Braves can make a reasonable offer that will catch his fancy. I don’t think he wants to be one of the highest paid players in the game but he does want his fair market value. As long as we make him part of the $100 Million Club, I think he will be close to staying. And if we can keep his yearly salary around $16 Million…well that’s only…$3 Million more than what he is making now.
Here is why I am still skeptical. Saying you want to stay and finish your career in Atlanta is usually like waving good-bye. The first example has to be, Tom Glavine. He wrote and I own his book, None But the Braves. Yet when the Mets came calling with the sweeter offer, he was at Borders making sure the book was out of print. With today’s free agent market as bad as it is days and guys like Jason Marquis getting $22Mil/3Yrs, it makes it harder for teams to shell out the big bucks to their stars. Especially the clubs with spending caps on their payrolls.
The Braves also have a track record of allowing their heroes to ride off into the sunset on someone else’s horse. Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Phil Niekro, Dale Murphy, David Justice, Sid Bream, Mark Lemke, Tom Glavine and more create a distinguished list of Brave’s Legends who saddle up in their twilight years in a different stable. At this point I could be sold on the fact that Chipper Jones might be the first of any of those to finish in Atlanta.
Yes, reading last week’s comments by Andruw made me happy about the upcoming season. Now I won’t have to watch while thinking that I won’t ever see Andruw doing this for Atlanta anymore. I am still not going to set my stock in him returning. I am pleading that the Braves will make a reasonable offer, one that will be able to spark his interest. Braves games would never be the same if know we actually had to worry about balls hit to center not being caught.