Tigers Reach Agreement With CF JaCoby Jones

Will he re-prove himself defensively in 2020?

97.1 The Ticket
January 10, 2020 - 3:32 pm
JaCoby Jones

© Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

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The Tigers have their center fielder under contract for 2020. 

The club inked JaCoby Jones to a one-year deal worth $1.575 million on Friday, according to the Free Press, thus avoiding arbitration. 

Jones, 27, is coming off a season in which he made strides at the plate but wasn't as impactful in the field. If he can get his defense back to the level it was at in 2018, he could be poised for a breakout year in 2020. 

The breakthrough for Jones in 2019 came with the bat. He adjusted his swing after a woeful start, enjoyed a torrid stretch in June and wound up with a career-best .740 OPS. Unfortunately, Jones went down for the season in August with a wrist injury. 

He should be fully healthy by spring training. 

Defensively, Jones was a bit of a mystery last season. After playing at a Gold Glove level in 2018, he graded out as one the worst center fielders in baseball. Ron Gardenhire attributed this in part to the various shifts the team deployed, and said he still considers Jones an asset defensively. 

The Tigers will hope he bounces back in 2020. Jones is under team control through 2024, so they still view him as part of the future. 

With Jones' signing, Detroit has crossed four of its five arbitration-eligible players off the list. Matthew Boyd is the last remaining, with a deal expected before the deadline passes Friday.