Before we get to the New York Yankees and Andruw Jones, can we first talk about the press conference they held yesterday to announce the Rafael Soriano signing? Was that not the most awkward press conference to introduce a new player ever?

I have never seen a press conference where the GM of all people says he had no interest in signing the player. When Brian Cashman was holding up Soriano’s jersey, it looked like someone just told him Alex Rodriguez slept with his wife. It was really awkward.

And what added more awkwardness to the situation was how smug Randy Levine was throughout the whole process. His facial reactions were the polar opposite of those by Cashman.

Levine is becoming the poster child of why people hate the Yankees. He is like that kid in high school that knows nothing about baseball, but follows the Yankees because it’s the cool thing to do, and when the Yankees win he brags and gloats about it to the point where it becomes obnoxious and then you just want to punch him in the face.

That’s Levine and about 80 percent of the kids in high school in the New York area in a nutshell.

Now on the Jones signing.

The Yankees signed Jones to a one-year, $2 million contract. Jones can earn another $1.2 million in performance incentives.

If this signing occurred 10 years ago:

A. Jones wouldn’t be making just $2 million in base salary, and

B. This would be a “holy shnikies” signing.

The reality is, Andruw Jones, well, isn’t Andruw Jones anymore. He is a fourth outfielder at best, and that is the role he will serve with the Yankees.

Jones will be the 2011 version of the 2010 Marcus Thames for the Yankees. Like Thames, Jones will fill in for Brett Gardner or Curtis Granderson against tough left-handed pitchers.

Despite having a .724 OPS over the past three seasons, Jones can still hit left-handed pitching. The soon-to-be 34-year-old had a .931 OPS against left-handed pitching last season. He also had an impressive eight HRs in just 102 plate appearances against lefties in 2010.

Defensively, Jones is a shell of his former self. During his prime in center, Jones averaged around a 22.0 UZR. Now, he is posting a -1.7 UZR, like he did last season with the Chicago White Sox.

Watching Jones in center is like watching Ric Flair in TNA these days. It’s hard to watch because you remember what it used to be.

Despite that, I still expect Jones to fill in more often for Granderson than Gardner. Gardner is too good defensively to replace with the mediocre Jones.

In the role Jones will serve with the Yankees in 2011, he should do just fine.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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