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Jonesing for Jacque

Posted at 2:11 PM on July 1, 2007 by Steve Rudolph

According to the latest reports, the Twins no longer have any interest in bringing back free-swinging outfield Jacque Jones. I never thought I’d write this and I will get tremendous flack from one of my baseball gurus, but I think the Twins are making a mistake.

For those who might have missed it, Jones was traded from the Cubs to the Marlins last week…sort of. With a glut of outfielders and a desire to add a pitcher, the Cubs are still looking to move Jones. But the pending sale of the team is making it difficult for the Cubs to swallow much the remainder of Jones' contract in the deal.

Sure Jones has struggled this season batting only .233 with 2 homeruns, but he still has some game left. In his career he’s averaged 22 HRs a season and batted .278. Twenty-two homers are more than Lew Ford, Jason Kubel, Jason Tyner, and Rondell White will combine to hit over the next couple seasons.

The Cubs have asked Jones to play centerfield this season and I have no doubt the added defensive responsibilities have affected him at the plate and a change of position and scenery might be all he needs to return to form.

I wish he batted right instead of left, but a batting order of Castillo (2B), Mauer (C), Cuddyer (RF), Morneau (1B), Hunter (CF), Redmond/Kubel (DH), Jones (LF), Bartlett (SS) and Punto (3B) wouldn’t look to bad. Just having a guy that can knock it out of the park in the seventh spot would be a huge upgrade.

An added benefit of making a play for Jones? Acquiring an original member of the Twins “Soul Patrol” might give Torii Hunter one more reason to stay in Minnesota when his contract expires.

Please let the record reflect, howver, that while I’m endorsing a trade for Jones, I still reserve my right to criticize his clueless at bats and curse the screen whenever he fails to put a ball in play with a runner in scoring position and less than two outs.

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