Chipper Looks to Be Near Retirement Decision

Published on: 15th June, 2010

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ATLANTA — Chipper Jones has hinted that he could retire at the end of this season. But it appears the veteran third baseman may now be even more serious about pursuing that option.

Jones is expected to discuss his plans for the future with Braves general manager Frank Wren and manager Bobby Cox on Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s obvious that it’s something I’ve been thinking about,” Jones told the Associated Press after arriving at Turner Field on Tuesday. “I need to go through the proper channels. Once those have all been taken care of, everybody’s questions will be answered.”

While it was unknown whether Jones will definitively say that this will be his final season, he certainly seemed to provide some indication of that on Sunday, when he said that he believed the Braves are in good hands with Brooks Conrad or Omar Infante playing third base.

“I don’t think anybody in here has any less confidence with those guys in the lineup than they do with me,” Jones said. “I think they’ve proven themselves worthy of stepping in and compensating for my absence.”

Jones, 38, has batted .228 with three homers and 22 RBIs in the 51 games he has played for the Braves this year. But the fact that his production has dropped since he won his first career batting title in 2008 isn’t believed to be the only motivating factor behind his decision to at least contemplate retirement.

“Well, anytime you’ve struggled at the plate and you’re having trouble producing, it’s frustrating,” Jones said to the AP prior to Tuesday’s game. “I’m used to being in the middle of everything, but it hasn’t been happening. Hopefully I’ll have a better second half and really help contribute to this team staying in first place.”

The Braves signed Jones to a three-year, $42 million contract extension last year. But despite the fact that he would still be guaranteed $28 million during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, he has said that finances would not influence his decision.

Jones was taken with the first overall selection in the 1990 First-Year Player Draft. He debuted with the Braves in 1993 and has spent his entire Major League career playing for Cox, who plans to end his storied managerial career at the end of this season.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

 

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