The Baltimore Orioles are preparing to trade a number of players who have expiring contracts, with Manny Machado, Zach Britton, Adam Jones and Brad Brach among the most likely.
Baltimore Orioles trade rumors are flying high in Birdland. While the majority involve either Manny Machado or Zach Britton, let’s not forget Adam Jones here.
Other teams that could potentially make sense include the Philadelphia Phillies and the Oakland Athletics.
What makes Adam attractive?
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What doesn’t maybe is the better question. He has over 20 home runs in seven straight seasons. He has over 19 home runs in nine straight.
Moreover, he has over 19 doubles in 11, including this season already. His batting average this season is .275, just a shade off of his career average of .277. Lastly, his offensive WAR is still a solid 1.6.
Now, his defensive WAR is a major drag at -1.5, but that is because he is no longer a center fielder. Of course, the Orioles aren’t ready to bring up Cedric Mullins and replace him.
Jones also is one of the best leaders in the game, and one of the most liked as well. Just think back to his play in the most recent World Baseball Classic. Cap10 America is a pretty cool moniker.
So, let’s say the Orioles do trade him at the deadline. Is it possible he could be back in Baltimore in 2019? I think it should be.
There would need to be some concessions, and Adam realizes that.
He no longer is a center fielder, and he knows that is the case in Baltimore and pretty much anywhere else. Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun also mentioned in the above link that Jones has long targeted his next contract as an opportunity to move to a less demanding position.
However, Jones spoke about his legacy, and part of that is in Baltimore.
"“Legacy is important not just to myself, to my family, to my kids, to my friends, to the community,” Jones said. “To the community, as I’ve gotten older, it’s easy to see that it’s bigger than the game of baseball. The result of the game, obviously, dictates some people’s moods. But it’s a lot more to this game, and what I do mean to this area and this community is pretty awesome, in terms of having kids look up to me, in how I play the game on the field, and how many kids and adults and people in general look up to me in terms of how I give back to the community. There’s just multiple facets that go through my mind, and being here, I’ve gotten a lot done."
Does this mean that he could come back to Baltimore? It certainly seems possible. And, the Orioles should be willing to entertain that.
Jones could play right field or left field, and still is faster than their current corner outfielders. The center fielder is a leader in Baltimore in the clubhouse and in the community of Baltimore. Above all, he’s beloved in Baltimore.
So yes, don’t be surprised if Adam Jones gets traded before the end of the 2018 season. However, that shouldn’t automatically mean he may not be an Oriole in 2019.
Someone needs to teach Mullins, DJ Stewart, Austin Hays and others how to be a professional ballplayer, much the way Nick Markakis did for Adam. There would be very few players in the game who could teach them as well as Adam Jones.