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Algodoneros de Union Laguna Hired Andruw Jones as Advisor

 Julian Guilarte  |    Mar 29th, 2024 8:47am EDT

Former Atlanta Braves player Andruw Jones acknowledges the fans prior to the game between the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on Thursday, April 6, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The Algodoneros de Unión Laguna of the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol hired Andruw Jones as an advisor, adding a Major League Baseball veteran to the front office.

Andruw “Jones will have a very positive impact on our club. A player of his stature with 10 gold gloves won in the best baseball in the world and a player who hit more than 400 home runs speak for themselves about his great career,” Algodoneros President Guillermo Murra told World Baseball Network on Whatsapp. “For the same reason, when we had the opportunity to invite him to be part of the Club, we did not think twice and the approach was made.”

Jones, 46, spent the majority of his 17-year MLB career with the Atlanta Braves, playing there from 1996-2007. Jones won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1998-2007 during his Braves tenure, and has won the third-highest number of Gold Gloves by an outfielder in MLB history. The native of Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, and New York Yankees. He retired from MLB in 2012 after his final season with the Yankees. He hit 434 home runs, notched 1,289 RBI, and stole 152 bases with batting line .254/.337/.486 in 7,599 at-bats in MLB. 

The Braves retired Jones’ number, 25, and he is in their Hall of Fame. Jones is also still eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and received 61.4 percent of the vote in his eighth year on the ballot this past year. He will have two more years to be named on 75% of the ballots cast by eligible voters to get elected to the Hall of Fame. 

Jones played two seasons in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in 2013 and 2014, helping them win the Japan Series in 2013. Jones played two final games for the Netherlands in the 2015 WBSC Premier12. 

The Algodoneros de Unión Laguna were established in 1940, and won championships in 1942 and 1950. Last year, they went 49-40 and lost the best-of-seven Serie del Rey, the LMB’s championship series, to the Pericos de Puebla in six games. The club plays in Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico, and will be managed by former MLB catcher Jose Molina this season. 

“For this season, our League is expanding the number of foreign players in each club to 20 and for this reason, there have been very important hirings, such as Didi Gregorius and Jonathan Schoop with us,” Murra said. “Andruw Jones will be a great addition to our baseball and a great positive influence in our organization.”

Murra explained to World Baseball Network how the hiring of Jones came together during the Caribbean Series, and how Jones played a part in Gregorius and Schoop agreeing to play for Algodoneros this season. Jones played with Schoop in the 2013 WBC for the Netherlands.

“It was in Miami, [at] the Caribbean Series, we were looking at options to strengthen our team, and at one point we had the opportunity to meet him. He was very open to learning more about our organization. He is close to Gregorius and Schoop, then his interest was even greater,” Murra said. 

“I know he’s going to be a great advisor – he knows the game so well. He gained a lot of experience being the special assistant to the Braves,” Jederick Magdalena, the president of the Curacao Baseball Federation, told World Baseball Network via WhatsApp. 

The Atlanta Braves hired Jones as a special assistant in 2016 and he worked in baseball operations for them until the end of the 2021 season. 

“The hire showcases to the island how diverse we are, how we can transition from pretty good players to coaches to advisors,” Magdalena said.  “I think it provides a great opportunity for guys from Curacao and Aruba to get exposure in different leagues. If the guys are good enough and fit what [the] Algodoneros Union de Laguna wants to do, Jones will give them the opportunity.”

The Algodoneros de Unión Laguna will play spring training games through the end of March, and open their regular season with a three-game series starting on April 12 against the Dorados De Chihuahua at home in Estadio Revolución.