"The bottom line is family, being in Atlanta, not having to relocate," said Jordan, who lives in suburban Stone Mountain. "The kids wanted daddy home."
The Braves signed Jordan, who played for the Arizona Cardinals this year and became a free agent, less than two weeks after making a big deal with Cincinnati. Atlanta sent pitcher Denny Neagle, right fielder Michael Tucker and a minor-leaguer to the Reds for All-Star second baseman Bret Boone and pitcher Mike Remlinger.
By trading Tucker, the Braves created a gaping void in the outfield and immediately set their sights on Jordan, who played football from 1989-91 with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.
Jordan, in the final season of a $6.5 million, two-year contract, hit .316 with 25 homers for the Cardinals, both career highs. He also had 91 RBI and 17 stolen bases.
| Brian Jordan will be looking to live up to his huge new contract with the Braves. AP) |
Atlanta has a $10.5 million option for 2004 with a $2.5 million buyout. If the option is exercised, Jordan would get $48 million over six season.
The 31-year-old Jordan gives Atlanta another potent bat in a lineup that already produced a franchise-record 215 homers. The Braves now have six players -- Andres Galarraga (44), Javy Lopez (34), Chipper Jones (34), Andruw Jones (31), Boone (24) and Jordan - who eclipsed 20 homers in 1998.
All six of those players also had at least 90 RBI, giving the Braves a fearsome group of hitters to go along with a pitching staff that still ranks among the best in the baseball despite losing Neagle, a 16-game winner.
During an unprecedented seven straight postseason appearances since 1991, the Braves have captured only one World Series. They were beaten the last two seasons in the NL championship series, losing to San Diego in six games this year.
But the opportunity for him to play at home gave Atlanta a clear edge.
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