Agent: Jones ‘considering’ Owls’ offer
Just over a week after the Forest City Owls sent a contract to former Atlanta Brave infielder Chipper Jones, Jones’ agent said they are “considering” the offer.
On Nov. 17, the Owls sent Jones’ agent, BB Abbott of Jet Sports Management, a contract for Jones to become an assistant coach for the Owls during the 2013 season.
Jones retired after the 2012 season after playing 19 seasons with the Braves.
“I honestly really didn’t know what it was,” Abbott said Wednesday in a telephone interview with The Daily Courier. “I thought someone was trying to be funny.”
But, at the time, the Owls were very serious about their contract offer of $1,500 and housing.
“He’s retired now and we know he is still involved in baseball,” said Tyler Parsons, Owls director of ticket sales and community relations. “We figured this would be a good way for him to connect back to the college game.”
Even Owls new manager David Tufo had some questions when he was told of the offer prior to last week.
“When I talked to Tyler about it, he was talking about Brett Favre coaching in high school,” Tufo said. “I found it a little hard to believe, but you never know. Stranger things have happened.”
However, Abbott said that Jones is considering the offer. Of course, he is considering it along with the “hundreds” of other offers he has received since his retirement.
“Chipper is now considering the offer and we will get back to the Owls as soon as we have considered it,” Abbott said.
Jones, over the course of his 19 years with the Braves, had a batting average of .303 — including a career-high .364 during the 2008 season. He ranks 32nd all-time in batting behind Jeff Bagwell, Alex Rodriguez and Cap Anson. He is ahead of players like Pete Rose, Rod Carew and Ken Griffey Jr.
Over his time with the Braves, he was named an All-Star eight years, including his last season.
Jones skipped college as he was drafted No. 1 overall in the 1990 MLB Draft. While he played in eight games with the Braves in 1993, his official rookie year was 1995 when he hit .265 with 23 home runs and 86 RBI. He was named NL Rookie of the Year that year.
His first All-Star season came in 1996 and was the first of three straight trips to the All-Star game. In 1999, Jones was voted NL Most Valuable Player after hitting .319 with 45 home runs and 110 RBI and a career-high 45 stolen bases.
In his final year with the Braves, Jones made a base salary of $13 million.
Tufo, who will enter his first year as manager of the Owls, said that he has yet to round out his coaching staff for the 2013 season.
“I’m pretty close,” Tufo said. “I would say, before my spring season starts in California, I would like to have it completed.”
He did say that he would have a slot on the staff if the deal with Jones became a reality.
“Yeah, I’m sure we can make room if that happens,” Tufo said. “I’m not going to kick a guy off the staff and, if he decides to come, I have been told I can have a staff of four. I want a staff of three, so it would all work out.”
As for now, despite all of the offers to coach and be on television, Abbott said that Jones is just enjoying his time off.
“Right now, he is just enjoying being a dad,” Abbott said. “I think he is just enjoying that at this point.”