Jones was admittedly hurt and surprised when the Yankees designated him for assignment on July 31, a day after acquiring Dustin Ackley from the Seattle Mariners in a trade for two minor leaguers. He spent a sad couple of days at his father-in-law's home in Chicago -- where the Yankees happened to be playing the White Sox -- before being re-signed after Ackley went on the disabled list with a bad back. Jones was overjoyed to be back, and said so. So overjoyed, in fact, that he and his agent didn't even bother to pursue overtures from several other teams.
"It feels great, man," Jones said that day. "They really wanted me back and it was hard to say no. This was where I wanted to be."
But for the seven days of his second tenure in pinstripes, Jones was a forgotten Yankee. Not once did he get into a game, not as a pinch-hitter, not as a defensive replacement, not even in the 16-inning, 5-hour, 4-minute marathon 5-4 loss Tuesday night. That made their second parting a little easier than the first. And it made it a little tougher, Jones said, to consider accepting an assignment to a Yankees farm club with the hope of coming back again.
"Two times in a row. It's a little different feeling than last time," he said. "I enjoy being here, I like the guys and I enjoy the clubhouse and the coaching staff and everybody. But in the scheme of things, I have to think of my career and the chance to play and what's best for that."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi echoed what general manager Brian Cashman had said July 31, that it is "tough" to let Jones go to make room for two relief pitchers, Chris Capuano and Nick Goody, to be recalled to help his depleted bullpen.
"Garrett is someone that we really love having around and he's done some good things for us, but yesterday's game had a ripple effect," Girardi said. "If we're not in a game like yesterday, it probably doesn't happen. But we felt that we needed to get some more pitching here and make sure that we're covered for the next few days, and it was really difficult."
Aside from the human aspect of the move, the Yankees' parting ways with Jones could have another potential effect in a baseball sense: Now, the backup first baseman is Brendan Ryan, who has played all of 13 innings spread over seven games there -- five last season and two this season -- in his entire big-league career.