Chipper Jones: "OK with it" if career ended today

0 Comments

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is
running the second part of an interview with Chipper Jones. It’s not
quite as lengthy as the previous interview,
but here’s a couple quick highlights:


  • Despite his comments in the past
    (“I’ll believe it when I see it.”), Jones believes Bobby Cox is “for
    real” about stepping down as manager after 2010. Cox will still have an
    imprint on the team as he will move into a consulting role, but Jones acknowledges that “it’s going to be culture shock” if
    he decides to play in 2011, especially if the Braves hire someone he
    has “played with or against.”
  • Jones is proud of the fact that he
    is the “last one standing” among the great 90s teams, and like Cal
    Ripken and Tony Gwynn, has played his entire career in one city.
  • Jones would be “OK with it” if his
    career ended today, but the only thing that keeps him going is trying
    to reclaim the National League East and go back to the World Series.
    He’s encouraged with the direction of the team, especially
    pitching-wise but notes that “we just need to get a little offense and
    defense to go along with it.”

As David O’Brien notes at the end of
the piece, this interview was conducted two days before the Braves
traded Javier Vazquez for Melky Cabrera and a pair of prospects. Frank
Wren has taken some heat for the move, but in doing so, the Braves
added around $9 million in payroll flexibility. Wren has already Troy
Glaus to the lineup, and
there are plenty of indications that he isn’t done.
 

Orioles sign OF Aaron Hicks, put Cedric Mullins on 10-day IL with groin strain

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks less than 24 hours after Cedric Mullins went down with a strained right groin.

Mullins went on the 10-day injured list, but the Orioles are hoping Hicks can help defensively in the spacious outfield at Camden Yards. Hicks was released last week by the New York Yankees with more than 2 1/2 seasons left on his contract.

“We had noticed that he was a free agent even before the injury,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “When the injury occurred and it became pretty clear this was going to be an IL, it seemed like a good fit even more so at that time.”

The Orioles are responsible for paying Hicks just $483,871, a prorated share of the $720,000 minimum salary. The Yankees owe him the rest of his $10.5 million salary this year, plus $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

The 33-year-old Hicks hit just .188 in 28 games for the Yankees this year.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective,” Elias said. “It’s very different from just looking at the back of a baseball card, and we hope that we get a bounceback from anyone we bring here.”

Hicks batted .216 last season.

“Hopefully that’s a good thing for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the Baltimore deal. “A lot of time here and a lot of good things happened for him here. I know the last couple of years have been a struggle. But hopefully it’s a good opportunity for him and certainly wish him well. Not too well being in our division and a team we’re chasing, but hopefully it’s a really good fit for him.”

Mullins left a loss to Cleveland after he pulled up while running out an infield grounder. Outfielder Colton Cowser – the fifth pick in the draft two years ago – is hitting .331 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he went on the IL in the past couple weeks.

“Certainly he was building a case towards promotion consideration prior to his injury and prior to Cedric’s injury,” Elias said. “We’ll just see where we’re at.”

Hicks was active for the game but not in the starting lineup. Austin Hays, normally Baltimore’s left field, was in Mullins’ usual spot in center.

When the wall in left at Camden Yards was pushed significantly back before last season, it made left field a bigger challenge defensively.

“In this park … you really need two center fielders,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Aaron’s got a lot of center-field experience. Played left field here before also. Brings the defensive aspect and then the switch-hitting.”