Chipper Jones was just kidding about the “I don’t know if I can make it through this year” stuff

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Chipper Jones made headlines yesterday for his “I don’t know if I can make it through this year” quote, but not surprisingly he clarified those comments today and made it very clear that he was just kidding around:

Unfortunately, I said it around two guys who don’t know me very well and they didn’t realize I was kidding around. One of the guys asked, “You think you can make it through the season with your knees?” I said, “Make it through the season, I don’t know if I can make it through tomorrow.”

Obviously, I’m joking.  That’s an obvious joke.  Really, I just came off the field after playing eight innings.  I’ve had eight at-bats all spring.  I was kidding around. It was tongue and cheek. I was kidding.  I just got done playing eight innings with three at-bats.  I was a little tired.  I wasn’t by any means suggesting I couldn’t make it through the season.  If I didn’t think that I could, I wouldn’t be out there.

So that’s that. Jones is 40 years old and retirement has seemingly been on his mind for a while now, but he was plenty effective last season and, if reasonably healthy, seems likely to be plenty effective again this season. He’s yet to post an OPS under .800 in 17 full seasons as a big leaguer.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.