Finally announcing a deal that had been rumored for weeks, NL MVP Chipper Jones and the Atlanta Braves agreed today on a six-year contract said to be worth $90 million.
Jones, 28, had been eligible to become a free agent after this season. He has played his entire career in Atlanta after being selected by the Braves with the first pick of the 1990 amateur draft.
The deal, which contains two club options that could make it worth $120 million for eight seasons, would be the fourth-richest package in baseball, trailing only Cincinnati outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. ($116.5 million for nine years) Los Angeles pitcher Kevin Brown ($105 million for seven years) and New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza ($91 million for seven years).
Piled Up the Numbers in ’99
Jones’ deal matches Brown’s average salary of $15 million. That average would be surpassed if the commissioner’s office decides Roger Clemens’ $30.9 million extension with the New York Yankees, announced last Friday, should be treated as a two-year contract, not a three-year deal as the team announced.
Jones is getting $4.75 million this season in the final year of his contract.
Last year, he became the first major-leaguer to hit .300 (.319) with 100 runs (116), 40 doubles (41), 40 homers (45), 100 RBIs (110), 100 walks (126) and 20 stolen bases (25).
Jones is hitting .305 with 25 homers and 83 RBIs this season.