Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones was traded to the team 10 years ago. Now, he is in the final year of his six-year/$85 million deal and he’s hunting for a ring.
Jones has been the heart and soul of the Orioles organization, often running into walls, making the extra stride and displaying the type of leadership that would make any manager proud. However, he isn’t just going to go quietly, playing out the rest of his years in mediocrity. He wants a championship ring and he was adamant about that on Sunday, when talking to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports about potentially signing a new deal.
“That’s up to the front office,” Jones said. “Business is business. I’ve seen all sides of it. I’ll never forget when me and Dan were talking about the (Nick) Markakis thing years ago. I thought that thing was getting done. I see the business and I’m not just going to say I’m going to give any answer because it’s what people want to hear. Nah.
“My personal feelings – this is my career. This is not the fans’ career, so I’m going to make the best decision for myself and going forward, I want to win. It’s not about money. It’s winning. I’ve got a lot of friends with rings, hardware.”
“My friend Cameron Maybin, he won a ring last year. My friend Quintin Berry got a ring. Dontrelle (Willis) got a ring. Edwin Jackson got a ring. I’ve got a bunch of friends with rings and I ain’t got no ring, so I want to play for something.”
Jones can still play at a high level, which was proven by his resurgent 2017 campaign, in which he slashed .285/.322/.466, hitting 26 home runs and driving in 73 RBI. What Jones can offer to the Orioles or any other team is valuable, on or off of the field. His work in the Baltimore community sets him apart from others as well.
The main point of discussion is: How can anyone blame Jones for his comments?
He’s played 10 seasons with the club, with six of those being losing seasons. He was just four games away from making a World Series appearance in 2014, when the Orioles were swept by the Kansas City Royals. Now, Baltimore doesn’t have a solid direction with a number of key players, their manager and general manager, up for contract at the end of the season.
At 31 years old, Jones has seen the aforementioned Markakis walk in free agency, Nelson Cruz, Andrew Miller, Jake Arrieta being traded and garnering more success with the Chicago Cubs and a number of other young players who were traded, who could’ve helped the team today. As loyal as Jones has been to Baltimore, the Orioles need to reciprocate that same loyalty by bringing in proven talent and retaining the talent that they currently have.
With star shortstop Manny Machado being up for free agency at the end of the season, as well as closing pitcher Zach Britton, along with second baseman Jonathan Schoop and starting pitcher Kevin Gausman’s contracts set to expire in seasons near, how much money are the Orioles willing to spend to commit to a winning team? If they cannot give their players on the field a commitment to excellence by signing players, then Jones would be well within his right to pursue greener pastures.