Via NPB Tracker, it appears that Andruw Jones may be taking his talents to a whole new country in 2013. Nikkan Sports is reporting that the outfielder, who spent the last two seasons in the Bronx, has agreed to play for the Rakuten Golden Eagles for $3.5 million this coming season. If true, it’s a pretty interesting turn for a player with a borderline Hall of Fame case like Jones to take, as it sees like most of those kinds of players (*cough* Johnny Damon *cough*) do whatever they can to hang around and compile counting stats. I certainly can’t think of any who have spent their twilight years playing in another country, especially when there’s a decent chance he could have landed at least a Spring Training invite stateside.
Of course, that almost certainly wasn’t going to come with the Yankees. Jones was a surprisingly valuable player back in 2011, especially in the second half when he absolutely destroyed left handed pitching, but he was just as utterly useless last season. He always drew rave reviews for his clubhouse presence, however, and I’m not entirely sure he doesn’t have at least a little bit of life left in his bat, so assuming this report is true I’m glad to see him land on his feet in a spot he’s presumably comfortable with.