02/14/11 7:13 PM EST
Yankees finalize deal with Andruw
Veteran will serve as backup at all three outfield spots
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Jones, 33, originally reached agreement with the Yankees on Jan. 20 on a deal that will pay him a base salary of $2 million, plus a possible $1.2 million in incentives.
In order to clear room on the 40-man roster for Jones -- who will wear No. 18 -- the Yankees designated right-hander Brian Schlitter for assignment.
General manager Brian Cashman entered the offseason seeking a right-handed-hitting outfielder who could join the mix in a part-time role, looking for a stronger defensive option than Marcus Thames, who filled that need last season.
A 10-time National League Gold Glove Award winner and five-time All-Star during his best seasons with the Braves, Jones spent 2010 with the White Sox, his fourth Major League team and third in the last three years.
"It's a good thing to have him there," said outfielder Curtis Granderson. "I got a chance to talk to Andruw Jones when he was with Texas [in 2009], and for our 10-minute conversation in a hotel lobby, we were talking defense, and I learned so much in that 10 minutes just talking to him. I'm excited to be around him for that side of it. I see it as all positives across the board."
Many Yankees fans will likely remember Jones from his grand entrance onto the baseball stage as a 19-year-old rookie, as he blasted two home runs in Game 1 of the 1996 World Series to supplant Mickey Mantle as the youngest player to homer in a Fall Classic.
In a 15-year career that also includes a stint with the Dodgers, the native of Willemstad, Curacao, is a .256 lifetime hitter in 2,025 Major League games, slugging 407 home runs and collecting 1,222 RBIs.
Jones has the second-most career home runs of any player at their time of acquisition by the Yankees, trailing only Jose Canseco, who had already hit 440 when he was fitted for pinstripes in 2000.
Jones' best season came with Atlanta in 2005, when he led the NL with 51 home runs and 128 RBIs, finishing second in the NL MVP balloting to Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.