Dodgers: Two Notable Veterans That Could be a Fit For LA
Adam Jones, OF
Another former-Oriole, Jones has not been discussed much so far this off-season. He has played in five All-star games and won four Gold Gloves and went to high school in San Diego. While Jones has not made any statements about wanting to play in SoCal, he could potentially be persuaded to take a slight cut in playing time in order to play in the sun in Los Angeles.
Jones also should want to win. After playing for the Orioles for all but two of his major league seasons, Jones has only played in 14 postseason games. To put that in perspective, Matt Kemp played in 13 playoff games last season. If Jones wants a chance at a ring in what is the twilight of his career, Los Angeles is a destination that makes sense.
Jones turns 34 on August 1st next season, and his production should not be expected to be as it once was in his prime. If the Dodgers bring him on, Jones would play more of a Matt Kemp role. He would be asked to primarily play a corner outfield spot and hit mostly in a platoon with Joc Pederson and Alex Verdugo. He makes more sense than Kemp, however, even if his production is slightly lesser, because of his leadership abilities (as seen during the World Baseball Classic in 2017) and his defense (also as seen during the same WBC).
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Last season, Jones hit just 15 home runs, his lowest mark since 2008, but maintained his ability to hit for average, finishing with a .281/.313/.419 and seven steals. This was an uncharacteristically poor power season for Jones, and the projections say he will improve next season back up to 22 home runs in 630-640 PAs.
Of course, if he plays for the Dodgers he probably wouldn’t play that much as Kemp only had 506 PAs last season, but Jones may be able to provide more value than Kemp by being a more consistent player. While Kemp fell off greatly after an All-Star first half, Jones actually played better in the second half, increasing his from .275 to .291 and walking more than he walked in the first half despite playing 40 fewer games.
If the Dodgers want to compete, they are going to need to add experienced, valuable depth, and Wieters and Jones could cheaply accomplish that on one-year deals in 2019.