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Monday, January 05, 2009

Report: Andruw Jones Quits Winter Ball

The usually accurate Raul Tavares sends me the following missive via e-mail (spelling and punctuation is all original):

  Hi rob, happy new year, just a few lines to let you know that andruw jones left his team for good, and is not coming back, the reason is that his wife is sick, but the real reason for me is that the team asked him to leave.

  He was struggling here, only a .148 ave, slow in defense, the team was desperate and they did not release him just because furcal recomended him and did not want to upset rafael, jones replacement hit a 3 run hr and aguilas won just the second game of the semi finals.

Thanks to Rob and 6-4-2.

Tripon Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:05 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:20 PM (#3043725)
Ouch!

He basically would have been cut, except they didn't want to insult Furcal.
   2. slothinator Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:32 PM (#3043742)
Well I bet teams will be lining up to take that contract off the Dodger's hands now! Deferred payments or not, this guy is looking more "done" with each passing day.
   3. JMPH Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:34 PM (#3043746)
Retirement next?
   4. BringBackTimTeufel Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:35 PM (#3043748)
Now batting for the Mets, the left fielder, Andruw Jones!
   5. Scott Kazmir's breaking balls Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:36 PM (#3043749)
It's not like he needed the extra BP or anything like that! Stick a fork in him...he's done.
   6. Obama Bomaye Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:38 PM (#3043751)
Very sad.
   7. Styles P. Deadball Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:39 PM (#3043752)
"Listen, Mr What the F*^k. What about all that stuff about showing people you can still play? Or was that all just bulls#*t?"

"That was just bulls#*t, Rafael... I'm surprised you listened to me."
   8. Obama Bomaye Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:42 PM (#3043759)
He became the regular CF in 1998. Suppose he was 30 runs above-average defensively from 1998-2004. (I realize modern systems would say that's higher than any player sustains for more than a season.) Would he have a HOM case? How good would his defense have to be to get serious HOM consideration? (I'm assuming he has no HOF chance, if his career is really over.) (I realize this is probably better asked over at the HOM too.)
   9. slothinator Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:43 PM (#3043762)
If he retires or just quits, I assume the Dodgers are still on the hook for his salary? Or does he have to show up for spring training and get cut?
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:47 PM (#3043764)
If he retires or just quits, I assume the Dodgers are still on the hook for his salary? Or does he have to show up for spring training and get cut?
If he retires the Dodgers are off the hook for his salary, as he is no longer providing the contracted service. If they cut him, then he retires, the Dodgers owe him his entire salary, as they first relieved him of his end of the contract, allowing him to do whatever he wants.

Nothing will ever be as bad as the farce of Albert Belle, who would be activated every season and then immediately placed on the 60-day DL for the entire season so they could collect insurance on his contract.
   11. RJ in TO Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:47 PM (#3043765)
Suppose he was 30 runs above-average defensively from 1998-2004. (I realize modern systems would say that's higher than any player sustains for more than a season.) Would he have a HOM case?


Considering that's 210 runs above a normal CF, paired with a career 111 OPS+, I'd vote for him with that. That'd be an absolute monster defensive peak - like Devon White 1992-3, except for 7 straight years. In terms of total value, I'd imagine that would make him into something with the total value of Duke Snider. EDIT: Or a more SLG heavy Richie Ashburn, with better defense.
   12. JMPH Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:50 PM (#3043768)
Nothing will ever be as bad as the farce of Albert Belle, who would be activated every season and then immediately placed on the 60-day DL for the entire season so they could collect insurance on his contract.

What were they supposed to do? He didn't retire, and if they cut him, they would have had to eat the rest of the contract.
   13. slothinator Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:55 PM (#3043773)
Nothing will ever be as bad as the farce of Albert Belle, who would be activated every season and then immediately placed on the 60-day DL for the entire season so they could collect insurance on his contract.


Have other teams done this with players who were finished? Seems like a good business decision, even if it is somewhat of a sham.

So all Andruw Jones has to do is show up for spring training 20-30 lbs. overweight, play like crap for 30 days, and then get cut - and he will get about $21 million over the next few years. Wow.
   14. Jimmy P Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:56 PM (#3043774)
It's not like he needed the extra BP or anything like that! Stick a fork in him...he's done.


Why do you think he's struggling? It's hard to move with a person sized fork sticking out of your back.
   15. Jimmy P Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:57 PM (#3043775)
Have other teams done this with players who were finished? Seems like a good business decision, even if it is somewhat of a sham.

Probably. Of course it's a good business decision. It could also be insurance fraud.
   16. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:58 PM (#3043776)
TEams take out insurance on players all the time. But Baltimore didn't get 100% of their money back. They got some of their money back on Belle but not all of it, I believe it was 70%. Supposedly the rising cost of insurance premiums for these big contracts was why why teams were going for shorter term deals in the middle of the decade. Whether or not that was true or a simply a cover for collusion I do not know.
   17. RJ in TO Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:59 PM (#3043778)
Have other teams done this with players who were finished? Seems like a good business decision, even if it is somewhat of a sham.


It's been done before, but typically only for the remainder of a season, and only for real injuries. What made the Belle incident notable was that the Orioles had to do it for multiple seasons (3?), and also actually had insurance coverage and a legitimate injury covered by that insurance. For most players, the insurance company would probably challenge a team doing it, arguing that "sucking" is not a medically recognized condition, whereas Belle had seen all sorts of specialists who agreed that he could no longer play.
   18. RJ in TO Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:01 PM (#3043781)
Supposedly the rising cost of insurance premiums for these big contracts was why why teams were going for shorter term deals in the middle of the decade. Whether or not that was true or a simply a cover for collusion I do not know.


It was also a matter of a lot of companies just straight out refusing to insure deals of longer than three years, no matter the premium, especially after taking a beating on a lot of the earlier deals, and adding tons of exemptions to the coverage.
   19. Frisco Cali Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:24 PM (#3043804)
Nothing will ever be as bad as the farce of Albert Belle, who would be activated every season and then immediately placed on the 60-day DL for the entire season so they could collect insurance on his contract.

What did the insurance cover? Injury? Was he injured?
Not trying to be too much of a prick, just thinking out loud.
   20. scareduck Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:25 PM (#3043807)
#13 -- I think the Dodgers did it with Darren Dreifort in 2002.
   21. RJ in TO Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:27 PM (#3043810)
What did the insurance cover? Injury? Was he injured?


It was one of the relatively standard injury clauses which kicks in after a player misses a certain amount of time - usually at 30 or 60 consecutive days due to a single injury. Basically, Belle rapidly developed massive hip problems - I think it was arthritis, but I'm not entirely sure - and became completely unable to play in any capacity.
   22. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:29 PM (#3043814)
Yes Albert had a degenerative bone problem that did not allow him to play.
   23. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:29 PM (#3043816)
It was also a matter of a lot of companies just straight out refusing to insure deals of longer than three years, no matter the premium, especially after taking a beating on a lot of the earlier deals, and adding tons of exemptions to the coverage.

I've never understood this. I'd insure most contracts for, say, a 75% premium. There HAS to be a point where it's merely too expensive, not impossible, to issue a policy.
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:44 PM (#3043832)
"For most players, the insurance company would probably challenge a team doing it, arguing that "sucking" is not a medically recognized condition, whereas Belle had seen all sorts of specialists who agreed that he could no longer play."

This is more-or-less what happened with the Pirates and Pat Meares, IIRC. With the added twist that Meares was aggresively and strenuously complaining that he could still play, out of pride, at a time when he couldn't close his injured hand well enough to pick up or grip a bat. Thus, the Pirates had to let him get the bat knocked out of his hands every day for a few months before the insurance company was willing to cry uncle.

Even by Meares standards, it was pretty God-awful to watch.
   25. John Northey Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:53 PM (#3043843)
iirc the Jays have a policy of no insurance for contracts as it is cheaper to assume the risk themselves rather than pay it out. I'm sure it was scary with AJ and BJ but if the cost outweighs the benefit then there really is no choice left. I know I wouldn't have insured either of those contracts if I ran an insurance company without a premium that was so high that it made no sense to the team (ie: they'd need an Albert Belle situation for it to work for the team).
   26. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:53 PM (#3043844)
I've never understood this. I'd insure most contracts for, say, a 75% premium. There HAS to be a point where it's merely too expensive, not impossible, to issue a policy.
Agreed. I've assumed it's like your buddy whose girlfriend cheats on him so he stops going out with all women.

edit: that didn't make much sense now, did it?
   27. birtelcom Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:54 PM (#3043845)
More awkward than Belle's situation (which was actually pretty straightforward -- player has long term debilitating injury, was DL'ed for the long term, and the team collected insurance) was Jeff Bagwell at the end of his career. Bagwell as I remember actually wanted to try to play but the Astros didn't want him to, for fear of losing insurance coverage.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3043848)
The best thing about the Belle situation is that, while on the 60-day DL for three consecutive years, Albert filed a union grievance to get his meal money (for the days the O's were on the road). He won the grievance too!

Imagine the cojones to "sue" for ~$7500 a year in meal money while your getting paid $10M p.a. to do absolutely nothing!
   29. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 05, 2009 at 11:05 PM (#3043853)
Nothing will ever be as bad as the farce of Albert Belle, who would be activated every season and then immediately placed on the 60-day DL for the entire season so they could collect insurance on his contract.

How was it a farce? Belle really was injured.
   30. Darren Posted: January 05, 2009 at 11:30 PM (#3043879)
Agree with Yeaartghghghhg. Belle was injured and couldn't play. That's why the team took out the policy. The reason Belle and other players seek long term deals is to protect them against injuries and other unforseen events.
   31. Srul Itza Posted: January 05, 2009 at 11:42 PM (#3043893)
The "farce" was having to go through the rigmarole of putting him on the active roster, then putting him on the 60 day DL. It was clear his injury had finished the career, but they still had to go through those meaningless mechanics.
   32. Steve Treder Posted: January 05, 2009 at 11:49 PM (#3043898)
It was clear his injury had finished the career, but they still had to go through those meaningless mechanics.

Well, unless he was willing to retire (which obviously he wasn't, and it isn't clear why he should have), then it was simply rational for the team to place him on the DL (which is where players unable to play due to injury are supposed to be placed) and collect the insurance against his salary. I fail to see what's farcical.
   33. phredbird Posted: January 05, 2009 at 11:56 PM (#3043911)
maybe srul is suggesting the orioles should have met with the insurer and said look we both know he's done by injury so you'll have to pay. do we have to do this other stupid stuff with the DL and all that just because he won't 'retire'? the insurer might have gotten p!ssed and said no do everything by the book or we'll fight it.
   34. Steve Treder Posted: January 06, 2009 at 12:10 AM (#3043939)
maybe srul is suggesting the orioles should have met with the insurer and said look we both know he's done by injury so you'll have to pay. do we have to do this other stupid stuff with the DL and all that just because he won't 'retire'? the insurer might have gotten p!ssed and said no do everything by the book or we'll fight it.

Well, obviously it was highly unlikely, but it was always possible that Belle might have recovered enough capacity to play again. And so given that (as well as given just the time value of money), it made sense for the insurer to pay only season by season (or more likely, contractual pay period by pay period) as it happened than pay their total eventual obligation up front.

I guess I would see it as a farce if there were some element of deception going on, but there wasn't. Everybody seems to have been doing their contractual duty.
   35. phredbird Posted: January 06, 2009 at 12:29 AM (#3043955)
Everybody seems to have been doing their contractual duty.


i'm not trying to put words in srul's mouth, but is that not what he is suggesting was farcical about it? isn't there some element of farce to a situation where everybody knows whats going to happen but goes through the motions of validating it with paper and contracts and whatnot? i'd be the last to suggest they just do the whole payout on a handshake but the parties must have been wondering at some point if the entire dance was necessary.
   36. Frisco Cali Posted: January 06, 2009 at 12:30 AM (#3043961)
So let's say I'm dying of something obviously terminal (instead of the generic stupidity which often afflicts me). I shouldn't try to collect the insurance payments that are due to me, cuz it is clear that I won't be living for long.
It would be a farce for me to fill out the forms, do follow-up phone calls and perform any other meaningless mechanics that would fulfill the terms of my relationship with the insurance company.
   37. GEB4000 Posted: January 06, 2009 at 12:45 AM (#3043976)
Unless AJ as some mystery injury, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that he doesn't give a #### about baseball anymore.
   38. phredbird Posted: January 06, 2009 at 12:50 AM (#3043981)
well, i never suggested no contract should be honored, in that case or in your hypothetical, just because one or more of the actors (or an observer) may see a farcical element to the proceedings.
   39. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 06, 2009 at 12:53 AM (#3043982)
Why would he play winter ball (presumably for peanuts) if he didn't give a #### about baseball anymore?
   40. phredbird Posted: January 06, 2009 at 01:13 AM (#3044001)
i think he cares about playing. maybe he went to winter ball thinking he could just play himself back into superstardom, or at least well enough to get some team interested in him, because the dodgers are pretty publicly done with him. but i've heard suggestions that he has a lackadaisical attitude about conditioning, and cultivating his talent. it certainly looked like that last year. he was horrendous and grossly overweight.
   41. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: January 06, 2009 at 01:47 AM (#3044033)
Well, obviously it was highly unlikely, but it was always possible that Belle might have recovered enough capacity to play again. And so given that (as well as given just the time value of money), it made sense for the insurer to pay only season by season (or more likely, contractual pay period by pay period) as it happened than pay their total eventual obligation up front.

They could've agreed to pay the Orioles as long as Belle didn't play, rather than as long as he was on the DL. IIRC, the O's were short one 40-man roster spot each year for the rule 5 draft (because they had to use a spot on Belle), so there was a tangible cost to them.
   42. The Adam Dunn Effort #44 Posted: January 06, 2009 at 01:48 AM (#3044034)
Buster Olney says Adam Dunn has lost 20 lbs this winter. Motivation all of a sudden!? Long suffering Reds fans cannot catch a break.
AJ should go do a little fishing in TX with Dunn, and get on the same diet.
   43. Steve Treder Posted: January 06, 2009 at 01:56 AM (#3044043)
They could've agreed to pay the Orioles as long as Belle didn't play, rather than as long as he was on the DL.

Well, Belle was under contract to the Orioles. There were only two places they could put him during the regular season: on the 25-man roster or on the DL. I suppose they might have been able to option him to the minors; I don't know whether his contract might have prohibited that, and MLB would have had legitimate reason to disallow sending him to the minors if he was physically unable to play -- THAT would be a farce.

IIRC, the O's were short one 40-man roster spot each year for the rule 5 draft (because they had to use a spot on Belle), so there was a tangible cost to them.

And this is the insurance company's problem how, exactly?
   44. RJ in TO Posted: January 06, 2009 at 02:00 AM (#3044045)
I don't know whether his contract might have prohibited that, and MLB would have had legitimate reason to disallow sending him to the minors if he was physically unable to play -- THAT would be a farce.


I think the standard agreement prevents teams from sending players injured in the majors to the minors. There was a case of it allegedly occurring recently with an Oakland pitcher (he claimed he was hurt when he was sent down, they say he was hurt after he was sent down), but I'm not sure how it was resolved. The other problem with this would be that sending Belle to the minors would mean that the insurance company didn't have to pay out - part of the requirement for these payouts is based on time spent on the DL.
   45. Steve Treder Posted: January 06, 2009 at 02:03 AM (#3044051)
The other problem with this would be that sending Belle to the minors would mean that the insurance company didn't have to pay out - part of the requirement for these payouts is based on time spent on the DL.

Right, but I was trying to come up with a scenario in which Harold's suggestion of "the insurance company just pays the O's if Belle doesn't play, and they don't have to put him on the DL" could play out. As you say, I don't think it's feasible.
   46. OCD SS Posted: January 06, 2009 at 02:36 AM (#3044078)

What were they supposed to do? He didn't retire, and if they cut him, they would have had to eat the rest of the contract.


Couldn't they just put his contract in front of him in the hope that he would eat it first?
   47. Frisco Cali Posted: January 06, 2009 at 02:45 AM (#3044084)
Now we're thinking
   48. October Sky Posted: January 06, 2009 at 04:12 AM (#3044135)
Just wondering, did he hurt the hip putting that beatdown on the Cleveland dressing room?

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