Though their interest in the veteran outfielder remains minimal, the Braves could opt to bring back Andruw Jones if he's released by the Dodgers later this month, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in its Monday editions.
The Dodgers are reportedly trying to trade Jones, and they worked out a deal with his agent, Scott Boras, to defer most of the $22.1 million he has remaining on his two-year, $36.2 million contract.
Jones will earn $5 million this season, which still may be too hefty a price for any team to pay a player who had knee surgery this past season, his first in Los Angeles, and batted .158 with three homers, 14 RBIs, 33 hits and 76 strikeouts in 209 at-bats.
Boras said that the Dodgers will release Jones on Jan. 15 if they can't trade him by then, the newspaper reported. The Dodgers have not commented on that or confirmed that deadline exists.
In that case, any team could sign Jones for the minimum of $400,000 while the Dodgers have to pay the remainder of his contract. If they release him, the Dodgers would have to pay the remainder of that contract in any event.
Jones played for the Braves from 1996 until he became a free agent at the end of the 2007 season. He hit 368 of his 371 homers for Atlanta.
MLB.com reported Sunday that the Braves may have interest in bringing back Jones, but that interest could only be moderate.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. MLB reporter Matthew Leach contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.