2011 version of Marcus Thames?
If he's used against mainly lefties, Jones will be a serious asset offensively. And he can actually play decent to good defense, while Thames was a gigantic liability out there.
This will fly under the radar, but is actually a very important signing.
Against lefties, would the Yanks bench Granderson, and toss out some trio of Swisher-Gardner-Jones?
I see Granderson as the everyday CF, with the team resting him occasionally against left handed pitching and using Jones in his place. I figure Jones will get to start maybe twice a week, maybe not that often, giving all three outfielders the occasional day off. There are roughly twice as many righties in the game as lefties (consider THAT a very unofficial guess), which would give Jones 54 opportunities to start against a southpaw. I don't expect to see Jones start that often, unless he's needed to replace an injured OF. Take a look at the number of games that Swisher, Grandy and Gardner missed in 2010 — around 60 total. That's about how often I'd expect to see Jones in the starting lineup.
Granderson is the superior defensive player at this point, and I think the team would like to give him the opportunity to play every day and build on his solid performance during the second half of last year. But if Jones flashes a hot bat, then who knows?
$8M less than he offered Pavano. That's my new benchmark.
Jones is worth 1/5 of Pavano? That's a scary thought. Can't set the bar much lower than that.
This gives the Yankees a ton of flexibility as Jones can play all 3 OF spots, Gardner can flip between LF and CF, and Swish could play LF in a pinch, in addition to backing up 1B.
And in addition to helping with injury issues and the occasional platoon against a tough lefty starter, it gives Girardi the ability to pinch hit for either Granderson or Gardner late in games against a lefty with minimal impact on defense, or take Swisher out late for defense.
The only question/risk is how his bat will hold up if he is not playing regularly. In any event for 2mil this is a real good signing. The only question is what they will do for a utility infielder (Nunez? Pena?) and whether they look for a back end of the rotation starter (I think they should wait as you don't really need a 5th starter much early on in April, and who knows with Pettitte).
How about weight loss incentives?
How about desire incentives?