ATLANTA - Despite a disappointing season and impending free agency, Andruw Jones still hopes to be playing for the Braves in 2008.
There have been no contract negotiations between the team and agent Scott Boras, though Jones is likely to be more affordable than he was at the start of the season. He went into Monday's game against the Florida Marlins hitting just .220 with 24 homers and 88 RBI.
"If they want me here, I'll be here," Jones said. "It just depends on what the Braves want to do."
The Braves have shown no inclination to discuss a new contact with Jones, probably figuring he would be too expensive to fit within their budget. The likelihood of him returning to the only team he's ever played for became even more remote when Atlanta acquired Mark Teixeira at the trade deadline.
Teixeira is under contract at least through next season and eligible for arbitration.
But Jones isn't giving up.
"That's the way the Braves always deal with free agency," he said. "We'll have to see what happens. Hopefully, they'll come up with something. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't."
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: The Braves aren't likely to be make the playoffs, but they have at least one player in the running for a championship.
Outfielder Brandon Jones, who was called up from Richmond over the weekend, will return to Triple-A for one night only - today's Bricktown Showdown between the champions of the International and Pacific Coast leagues.
Richmond, which won the IL, will meet Pacific Coast champion Sacramento in a one-game playoff at Oklahoma City.