While Torii Hunter goes on multi-city tours talking to teams who seem to be jumping all over each other to give him a crazy five year deal, Andruw Jones' agent is forced to seek out reporters to counter the notion that his guy has to sign a one year make-good deal someplace.
Obviously Jones stunk up the joint in 2007, but in virtually every other year of their careers, Jones has been Hunter's superior. They are both gold glovers. Jones is a year younger. Maybe you do dock Jones a bit due to the putrid season he just had, but I can't help but think that Jones is going to resume outperforming Hunter going forward.
So what gives? One thing that springs to mind is the fact that Jones is repped by Scott Boras, and some have whispered that there is a screw Boras campaign afoot in major league front offices. I suppose that's possible, but even if there is, folks should remember that in his last negotiation Andruw sidestepped Boras to sign a below-market deal even though that was several years before doing so became all the rage. Basically, if you want Jones and you can get his dad on the phone, you're going to be able to do business with him, Boras or not.
Yet there he dangles. If I were the Royals, Giants, Pirates, or any other struggling team who usually gets outbid for top shelf free agents, I would be all over Jones right now, offering a cheaper-than-Hunter, yet incentive-rich multi-year deal. I have this feeling that, come 2012 or so, I won't be regretting it.