Ned confirmed just a few minutes ago that the Jones deal is done pending a physical, which will probably be on Tuesday. He explained how this had gained steam from Monday when they arrived and was finalized last night, right before the news broke by the LA writers who were on site here. I was in our suite when it all went down and it’s fair to say that there was quite a buzz of excitement about all of this.
Some key points from his talk with the media:
He said that this doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll have to move an outfielder and he likes the depth it creates in the outfield. He also said it allows us to be more focused in our quest for pitching.
He also said this makes him a little bit more comfortable about the in-house options at third base. If something comes up that is a really great option, we would do it, but pitching is the greater priority.
He praised all of our staff in getting this done and the McCourts for being willing to make a move of this nature.
He was asked about Don Mattingly’s effect on Jones and he said he has been very impressed with Don and the fact that he came down here from Evansville and has fit in immediately with everyone at the team. He’s looking forward to seeing him work with our players, especially the young guys.
Ned reached out to Juan Pierre last night to talk about how this affects him, but wasn’t able to reach him. And when asked if he regrets signing Pierre, he said he absolutely does not. He can’t re-write history, but he implored everyone to look back at the circumstances that we were in when we signed him (only one outfielder with more than a month of experience in the Majors – Ethier). He pointed out that Juan did exactly what we expected him to do and that he has never said that Juan was a franchise player. He’s a very good player on a winning team and the reason we didn’t win last year was not Juan Pierre’s fault.
He continued to say that as a team, we’re not of a mind to give up three or four players for one star pitcher or player. He reiterated that we’re not going to do something just to do it, but that we’ve zeroed in on two or three pitchers and will see if anything can happen. Obviously Kuroda remains a viable option.
On a side note, Chan Ho Park’s non-roster invite is now formally done. Also, we did not take anyone in the Rule 5 draft, but we did lose Wesley Wright to the Astros, so he’ll have to stay on their big league roster all year or be offered back to us for $25,000.
From what it seems like by your comments and the various articles I’ve read today, most people see this as a great deal for the Dodgers. Andruw obviously has the power we need (10 straight years of 25-plus homers) and is a Gold Glover (10 times over, two shy of Mays and Clemente’s record). And the bottom line is, this deal seems to have gotten done because Andruw wanted to be a Dodger and that’s a very cool thing to hear.
If you’re a Dodger fan, I’ve got to imagine today is a very good day. Now it’s back to Los Angeles…