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Price Tag Too High to Keep Andruw Jones

ATLANTA (AP) _ Braves general manager John Schuerholz said Tuesday the Braves will not try to re-sign Andruw Jones.
Schuerholz said the team decided they couldn't afford to keep
the perennial Gold Glove center fielder who has spent his entire
career in Atlanta.
The move was not unexpected.
Jones completed the final year of a $75 million contract. He
made $13.5 million this season, and the Braves plan to use that on
bolstering their pitching and signing first baseman Mark Teixeira,
who made $9 million this year and is eligible for arbitration.
Still, it was the end of an era in Atlanta.
Jones first joined the Braves as a 19-year-old, hitting two
homers in his first World Series game at Yankee Stadium in 1996. He
has been one of the game's greatest defensive outfielders, winning
nine straight Gold Gloves with his diving catches and over-the-wall
grabs in center.
Jones also was one of the game's top sluggers in 2005-06,
combining for 92 homers and 237 RBIs, but his production tailed off
dramatically this season. He slumped to .222 _ his worst average
since becoming a full-time starter in 1997 _ with 26 homers and 94
RBIs.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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