Chipper Jones is retired. He has said so unequivocally and repeatedly, as recently as two weeks ago. Still, when you’re Brian Cashman and you’ve lost your third baseman, first baseman and one of your corner outfielders I suppose you’re allowed to be hopeful about things:
Those first two tweets sounded like Cashman — who was speaking to reporters about his Derek Lee inquiries — just messing around. In the same vein as “sure, I’d love it if we could sign Johnny Mize.” But the last one suggesting that Cashman is serious was somewhat surprising.
It’s not going to happen. Chipper Jones is not, by his own admission, at all interested in playing baseball anymore. Even if he was, there is nothing in his entire history or temperament which suggests he’d go back on his decision to retire, let alone that he’d do so for the Yankees or any other team besides the Braves.
UPDATE: It seems Cashman has reached out to Scott Rolen too, but there isn’t much traction there. No word on when Kelly Gruber will get his call.
But when you’re desperate you’re desperate. And if I was Brian Cashman I’d want Chipper Jones too.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.