There have been quite a few Japanese stars that have headed to the United States to play in the major leagues, but usually the only players who go the other direction are the Four-A types.
Of course, a case could easily be made that, at this point in his career, Andruw Jones isn’t much more than a Four-A hitter. Still, the first ten or so seasons were so great that Jones is still widely-considered a potential Hall of Famer once his career is over.
According to Nikkan Sports, Jones’ MLB career may have already ended. The Japanese outlet is reporting that Jones has signed a contract with Rakuten Golden Eagles on a deal worth 300 million yen, or approximately $3.6 million.
This is where I would caution the source. however. Late last month, the same outlet reported that Ichiro Suzuki had reached an agreement to sign a new one-year contract with the Yankees. That report was obviously false, as we know now. Hardball Talk has also run with this Nikkan Sports report, but MLBTradeRumors has not mentioned Jones in connection with a Japanese team.
Over the course of 17 big league seasons, Jones has amassed 434 home runs and nearly 1300 RBI. He clubbed 14 home runs while playing part-time with the Yankees last season.