Struggling through another disappointing season, Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said he was meeting with team officials Tuesday to discuss his future and acknowledged that he's considering retirement.
Jones declined to comment directly on whether he’ll retire at the end of the season, but it seemed clear that he’s made up his mind and merely needed to work out a settlement with the team over the $28 million in guaranteed money he’s owed for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
“It’s obvious that it’s something I’ve been thinking about,” said Jones, 38. “I need to go through the proper channels. Once those have all been taken care of, everybody’s questions will be answered.”
Jones, who won the NL MVP award in 1999 and led the league in hitting just two years ago, met before batting practice with team president John Schuerholz, general manager Frank Wren and manager Bobby Cox.
“As best as I can gather right now, he’s thinking about retiring after this year,” Cox said. “But I can’t give a definitive answer.”
Jones told the AP he planned to discuss some “redtape issues” with team officials. Asked if those involved a resolution of his contract, Jones replied, “That would be fair to say.”
This season has been difficult for Jones, although the Braves are leading the NL East. He has battled injuries and was hitting .228 with three homers and 22 RBI heading into Tuesday’s opener of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“Well, anytime you’ve struggled at the plate and you’re having trouble producing, it’s frustrating,” Jones said. “I’m used to being in the middle of everything, but it hasn’t been happening. Hopefully I’ll have a better second half and really help contribute to this team staying in first place.”
Jones has long been the face of the Braves’ offense, helping Atlanta wins its lone World Series title as a rookie in 1995 and significantly contributing to an unprecedented run of 14 straight division titles.
The Los Angeles Dodgers plan to put pitcher Chad Billingsley on the disabled list because of a groin injury. … Arizona traded outfielder Conor Jackson to Oakland for minor league closer Sam Demel. Jackson, 28, was batting .238 with one home run, 11 doubles and 11 RBI in 42 games for Arizona. Oakland manager Bob Geren said he saw Jackson as the A’s regular left fielder. … Minnesota second baseman Orlando Hudson has not been cleared to come off the disabled list. He has an injured left wrist and still can’t swing left-handed without discomfort. … An attorney for the Texas Rangers urged a bankruptcy judge to accept the team’s plan to pay creditors $75 million, saying the deal would not hurt any lenders and would clear the way for a long-delayed sale of the team.