The Zoner has moved!

If you are not redirected automatically within a few seconds then click the link!



3 years and $16 million to Jacque Jones to play Right Field for the Cubs. Apparently the Cubs threw in an extra million to outbid the Royals. I would have merely countered by saying, "Yes but it's the Royals." But be that as it may, the Cubs are getting a solid player. He is not a special player, but he can run a bit, he hits lefty and he is a good defender. He has some pop although that is offset by his proclivity to whiff and he used to have quite an allergy to drawing walks. That has changed in the last 3 seasons, going from 21 to 40 to a career high 51 last season. He also led the Twins with 23 Hrs last year. But the increase in walks was offset by a major decrease in BA.

While the last 2 seasons have been career highs in walks, they have coincided with career lows in batting average. Jones dipped down to .249 last year after hitting only .254 the year before. He had hit over .300 the previous 2 seasons. In his 6 full MLB seasons, Jones has whiffed over 100 times in 5 of them. And while he has speed, he is not a successful basestealer. He has stolen 67 bags while being gunned down 40 times. But going from 1st to 3rd I would take him over Burnitz any day and that goes for chasing down balls in the outfield. He has made only 16 errors in the past 4 seasons, so he is very steady with the glove. Wrigley is different than the hefty bag, but a good fielder is a good fielder no matter the venue.

Jones is also one of those players that is an eternal prospect in my mind. I always think of him as a younger player and one who has yet to have his career year or reach his potential. Unfortuately only the last part is likely true. He did have a big playoff moment in 2004, hitting a big homer in Game 1 of the ALDS off Mike Mussina just days after his father succumbed to cancer. But going into that game he was a career .161 hitter in the postseason, and that was his first homer in 59 postseason ABs.

I do like the signing. I'll like it even more if he keeps that walk total rising while getting his average back up to where it was. So now, if the Cubs have lost the desire to inexplicably trade Todd Walker, the Cubs lineup should look something like this:
  1. CF Pierre
  2. 2B Walker
  3. 1B DLee
  4. 3B Ramirez
  5. RF Jones
  6. LF Murton
  7. C Barrett
  8. SS Cedeno
  9. Injured Starting Pitcher


Anonymous said...

There's probably not a bigger Jacque Jones fan than me--I mean, how many are there to begin with?--and you know that I've wanted the Cubs to get him for several years.

But I don't like the deal.

Specifically, I don't like the 3-year committment--for 1 year as a stopgap until they found something better: great, grand, wonderful. But now they're settling for essentially an average RFer for the duration of whatever window to win they have? I think it's a stretch.

I feel this way because he has already had his best years in 2002-3, and he's basically settled into being a 780 OPS type guy, which has to be pretty average, or lower, for a RFer.

He will be an improvement in the OF and going 1st to 3rd like you said, and he does play hard and bring good energy, which is why I always liked him so much on the Twin (that, and he always killed the White Sox, so he eemed to play great whenever I watched him). It's good his walk total is going up.

But this is really just the Cubs settling and overpaying to fill a hole, and in what could be constituted as an off-season filled with doing just that (Howry, Eyre, and in some opinions, Pierre as well). It all seems mildly desperate, and I just can't shake the feeling that it's all gonna amount to a whopping 83 wins.



The Zoner said...

I definitely see your point. If he does what he did last year I will agree. If he gets close to those 2 good years I will disagree. I like it and I like him, but it all goes back to this: teams that are unwilling or unable to produce players from their farm system will inevitably have to go out and do things like this. But at the least they have some stability in the OF.

As for the 83 wins, if Prior is not healthy and Wood doesn't come back strong it won't matter who is in the lineup.