How can it be a bad move signing an extension for the best switch hitter ever to play the game. It can’t. The Braves locked up Chipper Jones for another 3 years worth $42 million dollars.
How can you go wrong signing a guy who batted .364 last year. (no that’s not a misprint) Jones seems to be getting better with age: He has registered three consecutive seasons with an OPS better than 1.000. On a per at-bat basis, Jones is extremely productive for a 36 year old and 3 years doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. Now keep in mind that Chipper is not going to be an everyday player, he hasn’t played more than 137 games sense 2003, but even missing 40 or so games hes still the man. How many guys can say they havent hit less than 25 home runs sense 1993?
A six-time All-Star, Jones was the NL’s Most Valuable Player in 1999. His .310 career batting average ranks second among switch-hitters, trailing only Frankie Frisch’s .316. He has 408 home runs, trailing only Mickey Mantle (536) and Eddie Murray (504) in homers by a switch-hitter. He is the only switch hitter with 300 HR and a career .300 BA . So is it really a reach to call him the greatest switch hitter of all time?
Now that we have concluded that Jones is awesome lets consider his worth over the next three years. Due $10 million this season in the option year of a contract that began in 2006, Jones gets a $3 million signing bonus as part of the new deal, payable in $1 million installments each Jan. 15 starting next year.
Jones receives annual salaries of $13 million from 2010-12 and can earn $1.5 million a year in performance bonuses: $750,000 each for 135 and 140 games.
His contract contains a $9 million option for 2013 that would become guaranteed if he plays in 123 games in 2012 or averages 127 games in 2011-12. The option price could increase by up to $4 million: $1 million each for 128, 133, 138 and 140 games in 2012 (or averages of 132, 137, 138 and 140 in 2011-12). In addition, he could earn $1.5 million in performance bonuses based on the earlier criteria.
If the vesting option fails to become guaranteed, the club would hold a $7 million option.
Taking into consideration his health and ability I predict his stats over the life of the contract to look like this
2009: .320 BA 27 HR 85 RBI
2010: .300 BA 22HR 80 RBI
2011. .3334 BA 32HR 90 RBI
2012 .298 BA 20HR 76 RBI
If he could put up these numbers is he worth it? Definitely! People talk like hes already 40 when he is only 36. This contract all but guarantees that he will retire a Brave. and probably one of the greatest Braves of all time.
Watch his hitting mechanics in this video. This is why he is great!