A lot of people, myself included, tend to get attached to players from successful teams. Todd Jones was one of the guys who helped get us there in 2006 and it’s easy to look past a player’s fault and want to relive a great season like the Tigers World Series run. So I firmly believe that just about anyone who’s excited about this deal is one of those people who are clinging to that near championship season.
I think the Tigers overpaid quite a bit for Jones here. I know he’s a “closer” and guys like Mariano Rivera will command $10+ price tags but Jones isn’t your stereotypical closer. He pitches to contact and while he doesn’t give up many walks nor does he give up many homeruns, he also doesn’t strike many guys out. The strikeouts in and of itself aren’t that disconcerting but Jones just has these times where he melts down. In looking at his splits after the fact and Jones is quite good where he picks up a save (.195/.236/.233) but downright horrible when he took a loss (.625/.690/.917). So you have a pitcher who, with four losses and three other blown saves (he had six total, but three of those he also took losses), will come out and give you a rock solid outing six out of seven times and blow the game the seventh. If you can live with that (not sure how that compares to other closers), then maybe the $7 million is warranted. I just think $7 million for 70 innings is a but much.
I still take heat for this, but I still feel that if Jones were made for any role, it’s closer which is why I would have been critical of a guy like Joel Zumaya taking over the role with Jones still in the pen. Having Jones come in with a lead and nobody on base is preferable to having him come in with the score tied and runners on base. If Jones gives up a hit or two (like he has a tendency of doing), it usually won’t hurt him. So in short, I’m not disappointed the Tigers signed Jones, I just think they gave up too much for him.