As he nears retirement Chipper Jones’ greatness is hopeful apparent enough that we don’t really need to cite any new stats to make the case, but here’s a pretty good one courtesy of Capitol Avenue Club blogger Ben Duronio:
Among all the hitters in baseball history with at least 10,000 career plate appearances Jones is the seventh player to top a .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage, and .500 slugging percentage.
Here’s a list of everyone in the .300/.400/.500 club: Jones, Frank Thomas, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker.
And if you drop the plate appearance minimum down to 9,000 the club adds Ted Williams, Manny Ramirez, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Todd Helton, and Rogers Hornsby.
Jones, who’s not in the Braves’ lineup for today’s regular season finale, has hit .303 with a .401 OBP and .529 SLG in 10,613 plate appearances.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.