Atlanta Braves Highest Earners and WAR: Chipper Jones

Let’s take a look at Chipper Jones’ impressive career with the Atlanta Braves

Chipper Jones was selected by the Atlanta Braves with the first overall pick in the 1990 MLB draft. The Braves signed Chip and gave him a $275,000 signing bonus.

Chipper was called up to the big leagues on September 11, 1993. He would register his first at-bat in the majors three days later against the Cincinnati Reds — Chipper went 1-for-1 on the day.

He was batting 1.000 and would never look back… until the next day when he went 0-for-1 with a strikeout. But Braves fans know the legend was born that September day.

Chipper would go on to have one of the greatest careers in the history of Major League Baseball, and would earn a spot in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018. Chipper was included on 97.2% of the ballots tallied during his first year of eligibility.

Chipper was only the second player selected first overall in the MLB draft to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

At the end of his career, Chipper finished his career with the following stats:

  • .303 batting average (BA)
  • 2,726 hits
  • .930 on base + slugging percentage (OPS)
  • 1,623 runs batted in (RBI)
  • 468 home runs (HR)
  • Eight all-star appearances
  • Two Silver Slugger awards
  • 1999 National League MVP

His career OPS+ of 141 has him tied at 68th on the Career Leaders & Records for Adjusted OPS+ – this list includes every major league baseball player that has ever played.

Jones is only the second switch hitter in MLB history with 5,000 plate appearances to bat .300 or better from both sides of the plate.

But Chipper Jones most impressive career stat, arguably, is the fact the he finished his career with more walks (1,512) than strikeouts (1,409). That is otherworldly!

Jones’ Career Salary Total

Chipper Jones earned a total salary of $168,552,133. This total makes him the 29th-highest-paid player in the history of baseball (not adjusted for inflation). Chipper topped the Braves 40-man roster payroll three times during his career – 2004, 2005, 2012.

Chipper, the consummate teammate, worked with the Braves organization to restructure his contract following the 2005 season. This allowed the Braves more wiggle room when it came to signing top talent.

Chip made a penny or two over $16 million ($16,061,802) during the 2005 season. In 2006, he made $12,333,333. That is a huge swing in annual salary! And Chipper did it to help the team and ensure that he would remain a Braves player for the entirety of his career.

Career WAR and RAR

Chipper Jones finished his illustrious 19 seasons with the Atlanta Braves with a Wins Above Replacement mark of 85.3. According to baseball-reference, Chipper led the Atlanta Braves team in WAR three times throughout his career:

2001 (5.9 WAR)
2007 (7.6 WAR)
2008 (7.3 WAR)

Even after Chipper’s rookie season (1993) he finished with a WAR of 0.2. Yes, he only played eight games, but he would finish his entire career with a positive WAR after every season.

Chipper finished his career with a RAR (Runs Above Replacement) of 895. For comparison’s sake, the Atlanta Braves scored 855 runs in 2019. That is one season, but it lends a bit of perspective as to how impressive this stat is.

You cannot replace a Chipper Jones!

Class Act

While we know how much Chipper was paid during his 19 seasons in a Braves uniform, it is impossible to truly quantify his value to the Atlanta Braves organization. His baseball acumen and calm demeanor served as a north star to so many up-and-coming stars in the Braves dugout.

Chipper played a huge role during the Braves 12 straight division titles. He played third base, shortstop, right field and left field – any position as long as it meant victory for the team.

You cannot buy that type of leadership. It is ingrained in certain ballplayers at a young age and evolves into the type of person Chipper Jones proved himself to be for almost two decades in Atlanta.

Chipper wrote the following words at the end of his 2017 autobiography, Ballplayer:

“…all we did when I played for Atlanta was win. And I was a big contributor to that for the better part of two decades. That’s all I ever wanted.”

Next: Minor leaguers still being taken care of

Chipper Jones was a class-act and a true joy to watch. Keeping him in an Atlanta Braves uniform will always be remembered by the Braves organization as money well spent.