The Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan are well known among Major League Baseball fans this off-season. The reason, of course, is the fact that they posted starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and made him available to MLB teams.
Here the Golden Eagles are again, on our radar for a different reason: they will reportedly retain the services of outfielder Andruw Jones for another two seasons. Jones played in Japan last year after a disappointing season with the New York Yankees in 2012. With 26 home runs and an .845 OPS, he helped lead the team to a Japan Series title.
Earlier this off-season Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reported that MLB teams were interested in bringing Jones back. At age 36, it is hard to imagine a scenario now where Jones will play in the states again, although I suppose one never knows.
In his prime Jones brought an impressive combination of defense in center field (he won 10 gold gloves) and pop at the plate (434 career home runs). In the latter stage of his career his value has been limited to his bat, but as we know from the likes of Mark Reynolds and, well, Mark Reynolds, right-handed power can be hard to come by.
It’s not surprising, then, that teams inquired after Jones’s services before he returned to the Golden Eagles.
Topics: Andruw Jones