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Jones to make room for Helms

Special to

Nov. 6

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Chipper Jones met with Braves GM John Schuerholz this past week and laid the groundwork for his move to the outfield.

Chipper Jones
Third baseman
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Jones, the 1999 National League MVP, told Schuerholz that he was open to anything the Braves want to do, but indicated that he wouldn't mind moving to the outfield. So Atlanta plans to move Jones to the outfield and hand the third base job over to rookie Wes Helms, who batted .288 with 20 homers at Triple-A Richmond.

Whether or not Jones plays left or right field will depend on further Braves offseason moves. They have been measuring interest in Brian Jordan, and if he were dealt, Jones would play right field. If not -- and Jordan has had postseason operations on each shoulder -- then he could play left and B.J. Surhoff would move to first.

The Braves have let it be known that they are interested in free agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez, but feel the price may be too high. Their primary target right now is left-hander Mike Hampton, who happens to be a close friend of Jones'.

There was little action at the GM meetings Tuesday, save a press conference with Scott Boras about Rodriguez. There has been a lot of talk about the possibility of Boston dealing Carl Everett to Colorado for Larry Walker, but that is in the preliminary stages without the Rockies knowing if Walker -- who has a no-trade clause -- would accept such a deal.

The Red Sox have to decide whether or not to pick up the fourth-year option on Everett, and Everett has yet to decide whether or not to ask the club for a trade.

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