Chipper Jones agrees to $42M, 3-year extension

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Chipper Jones and the Atlanta Braves agreed Tuesday to a $42 million, three-year contract extension through 2012, a deal with an option that could become worth up to $61 million over four seasons.

The agreement virtually guarantees that the 36-year-old Jones will play his entire career in an Atlanta uniform.

A six-time All-Star, Jones was the NL's Most Valuable Player in 1999. His .310 career batting average ranks second among switch-hitters, trailing only Frankie Frisch's .316. He has 408 home runs, trailing only Mickey Mantle (536) and Eddie Murray (504) in homers by a switch-hitter.

He is the only switch-hitter with at least 300 homer and a .300 career batting average.

Due $10 million this season in the option year of a contract that began in 2006, Jones gets a $3 million signing bonus as part of the new deal, payable in $1 million installments each Jan. 15 starting next year.

Jones receives annual salaries of $13 million from 2010-12 and can earn $1.5 million a year in performance bonuses: $750,000 each for 135 and 140 games.

His contract contains a $9 million option for 2013 that would become guaranteed if he plays in 123 games in 2012 or averages 127 games in 2011-12. The option price could increase by up to $4 million: $1 million each for 128, 133, 138 and 140 games in 2012 (or averages of 132, 137, 138 and 140 in 2011-12). In addition, he could earn $1.5 million in performance bonuses based on the earlier criteria.

If the vesting option fails to become guaranteed, the club would hold a $7 million option.

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