He’ll turn 40 in April, had surgery on each knee in the past two years, and has tired of speculation about when he’ll retire. But Chipper Jones is not tired of playing baseball.
Atlanta’s iconic third baseman is preparing for his 19th season with the Braves, and Tuesday he made it clear the 2012 season might not be his last.
“As long as I stay healthy and I’m having fun, I’m going to keep going,” he said before an informal hitting session at Turner Field. “I sit here with three weeks to go before spring training and I’m not ready to say this is it.”
Jones is entering the final guaranteed year of a contract that will pay $14 million in 2012. The deal includes a $7 million team option for 2013, which vests automatically at $9 million if he plays at least 123 games in 2012.
He played 126 games in 2011 despite a stint on the disabled list for arthroscopic knee surgery, which kept him out of the All-Star game.
The 2013 option has escalators that could add $1 million each