2:45pm: Jones will be attempting a move to the mound, a switch he recently announced on Instagram. Hat tip to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. Jones has just a single inning pitched in affiliated ball but was a two-way player in high school.
1:34pm: The Braves have signed infielder Ryder Jones to a minor league deal, according to his transactions tracker at MLB.com. Jones will presumably receive an invitation to major league Spring Training, though no official announcement has been made.
Jones, 29 in June, has 58 games of major league experience, all with the Giants. 53 of those were in 2017 and then five more the following year, but a dislocated knee ended that latter season. He hit just .184/.250/.316 in those seasons, was outrighted in 2019 and hasn’t been able to make it back to the big leagues since.
Ryder has previously had strong Triple-A results but struggled in 2022. After signing a minor league deal with the White Sox, he got into 67 games for the Charlotte Knights but produced a batting line of .196/.269/.318 while striking out in 32.6% of his plate appearances.
Jones will look to get back on track with his new club. If he does so, he can provide some infield depth, primarily at the corners. He did play three innings at second base last year and pitched an inning of mop-up duty, but otherwise lined up mostly at first and third base. Atlanta has Matt Olson and Austin Riley firmly cemented in those positions at the big league level but they don’t have many depth infielders on the 40-man. Vaughn Grissom and Orlando Arcia could be battling for the shortstop job, with Braden Shewmake also on hand as another middle infielder. Jones gives them an option for the corners that has struggled in recent years but at least has big league experience. If he earns his way back onto the roster, he still has an option and less than one year of MLB service time.