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Twins Sign Jacque Jones to Minor League Deal

Jacque Jones is back in town.

Well...maybe.

The Minnesota Twins announced that they had signed OF Jacque Jones to a minor league deal after OF Jason Pridie was claimed off waivers by the New York Mets.

Pridie was placed on waivers to make room for 2B Orlando Hudson, who the Twins signed last Friday.

Jones, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Twins, has also received an invitation to attend Spring Training.

Jones, who turn 35 in April, hasn't played in the majors since 2008. He spent the 2009 season playing for the independent league Newark Bears, where he hit .311 with five home runs and 25 RBI for the Bears in 25 games.

Jones was drafted by the Twins in the second round of the 1996 Draft, and made his MLB debut three years later. From 1999-2005, Jones hit .279 with 189 home runs and 476 RBIs.

Jones, who was the Twins' left fielder for most of his time in Minnesota, was moved to right field after the Twins acquired Shannon Stewart in 2003. Jones was never happy in right field, and turned down arbitration from the Twins in 2005. He signed with the Chicago Cubs three days later.

Since leaving the Twins, Jones has played for the Cubs, Detroit Tigers, and Florida Marlins. He also signed a minor-league deal with the Cincinnati Reds in 2008, but was cut after not making the team.

Jones had two productive years with the Cubs from 2006-07, hitting .285 with 32 home runs and 147 RBIs. He struggled in 2008, however, hitting only .147 with one home run and seven RBIs in 42 combined games for the Detroit Tigers and Florida Marlins.

It is unlikely that Jones will make the team out of spring training, but he has said he would be willing to play for AAA-Rochester if he fails to make the Twins team out of Spring Training.

The Twins were in need of a back-up outfielder after trading Carlos Gomez to the Milwaukee Brewers last November.

It appears that the Twins will likely open the 2010 season with four outfielders on their 25-man roster: Denard Span, Delmon Young, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel, who is also their DH. Manager Ron Gardenhire has also hinted that infielders Nick Punto and Matt Tolbert could be options to back up in the outfield.

For more articles by Zeke Fuhrman, check out his blog at www.bleacherreport.com!

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