John Schuerholz announced today that Andruw Jones will not be in the Braves' plans for 2008. According to Jones' agent, Scott Boras, it was never in the Braves' interest to re-sign Jones past his 2007 contract, even before his sub-par .222/.311/.413, 5.4-VORP season. "'General managers of teams that I have [established] players playing for call me all the time,' Boras said. 'With John [Schuerholz], I have never discussed anything about Andruw Jones for two years.'"
"Schuerholz didn't provide specifics regarding what was included in this e-mail. But he acknowledged that Boras is seeking a contract similar to the ones received by Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano before this season began. Both of them gained contracts that consisted of at least seven years and included an annual salary of at least $17 million."
My feeling is that Braves fans will have mixed reactions to Jones' departure. Even after this dismal season at the plate, Jones still has the potential to record many more productive years with another team, as he's still just 30 years old. The Braves have two very good outfielders at the major league level right now, however, in Jeff Francoeur and Matt Diaz, and a serviceable one in Willie Harris. Brandon Jones, who spent most of the season at AAA-Richmond, will likely challenge Harris for a spot in the outfield in Spring Training. I can't see the Braves signing any of the outfielders in this offseason's free agent crop, as the most likely candidates in Mike Cameron, Torii Hunter, and Aaron Rowand will likely command big dollars, possibly near what Jones will be getting from his new club.