Jones' days as a Twin officially over

Jones' days as a Twin officially over

MINNEAPOLIS -- The days of Jacque Jones in a Minnesota Twins uniform have officially ended.

Dan Lozano, Jones' agent, confirmed Monday afternoon that the free agent had indeed decided to decline the Twins' offer of arbitration. The Twins had told Lozano that they would offer only a one-year deal if Jones had chosen to return.

"We have three other teams offering multi-year deals right now," Lozano said. "So it was an easy decision to make."

The Twins had extended the offer of arbitration to Jones just hours before the 11 p.m. CT deadline on Dec. 7. Jones had until Dec. 19 to make his decision on whether or not to accept the offer. The right fielder made $5 million last season, which would have increased with arbitration, but Lozano said there was more to the decision than just money.

"Other teams are willing to make longer commitments to Jacque, and that's what he was looking for."

Twins general manager Terry Ryan had not yet received official word from the Major League Baseball offices as of late Monday afternoon and declined comment until he had seen the news in writing. The deadline for arbitration decisions is 11 p.m. CT Monday night.

By offering Jones arbitration, the Twins will receive a compensation draft pick when Jones signs with another club.

Ryan has been awaiting the news of Jones' decision to proceed further with possible free agent signings. The club is already at around $56 million for payroll and wanted to make sure it would have room for Jones' salary if he accepted.

Now that Jones has decided to go elsewhere, the Twins will have at least $5 million to try to pursue another big-name bat to the club. The team has shown interest in sluggers like Mike Piazza and Frank Thomas to fill their hole at designated hitter.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.