Adam Jones has earned the right to say 'no' to trade - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Adam Jones has earned the right to say ‘no’ to trade

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Unless something changes between now and 4 p.m. this afternoon, Adam Jones is going to stay with the Orioles. Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said he thought Jones would still be with the team even if Jones wouldn’t comment when asked about it.

The Orioles wanted to trade Jones, probably to the Philadelphia Phillies, but apparently he blocked the deal—as is his right—because he’s been a major leaguer for 10 years, and five with the Orioles.

Jones continues to be a productive member of the team but with “rebuild” the word of the day around here, they’d like to move him so that they can get a two-month look at Cedric Mullins in center field.

The Orioles could call up Mullins even if Jones stays and move the five-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glover from center to right field, a position he hasn’t played since 2007 when he was with Seattle and started two games there.

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Jones’ decision to stay — and, of course, he could change his mind at 3:59 p.m. — shouldn’t have surprised the Orioles.

Although it may complicate things for the team, it’s perfectly understandable.

If the reasons are personal instead of professional, Jones owes no one an explanation. He’s earned his right to stay in Baltimore for two more months if he wishes.

Although most athletes probably would jump at the chance to leave a losing environment and chase glory for a few months elsewhere, most aren’t Jones.

Thanks to social media, Jones is one of the most accessible athletes. Until recently, Jones was often at his locker willing to engage with nearly everyone about everything.

Now, things have changed.

As Orioles manager Buck Showalter likes to say: “Never catch a falling star.”

Other managers and coaches in professional sports have said that one of the hardest things about their jobs is dealing with a top-shelf talent who has lost a step or two.

Jones is in the final year of a six-year, $85.5-million contract, one that’s worked out well for both parties. He’s been one of the great Orioles of our time, and Baltimore has loved him back.

That’s one of the reasons I’m suspecting he doesn’t want to leave. When he spoke at length Thursday about his decision, he wondered who would shepherd his community work if he weren’t around.

When Jones announced plans for his annual tailgate to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Baltimore, he wondered on Twitter: “Would people still come to my tailgate if I’m no longer an O!!”

Fans who have criticized Jones for being selfish have it wrong. He’s earned the right to stay, and I surmise that more than a few of you have turned down excellent job opportunities elsewhere because you didn’t want to uproot your children from family, friends, schools and activities.

Jones may be no different.

Just because he’s paid lavishly doesn’t change the intangibles. While Jones and other well-paid athletes don’t have as many financial worries about tuitions, vacations and braces, they are away from home for much of the year, missing out on significant family events.

Jones’ two young active sons are often around him, and his devotion can’t be questioned.

No one knows Jones’ family dynamics, and his decision, in this case, shouldn’t be questioned—if he sticks to his original plan.

Jones could relent, go elsewhere and return to Baltimore for next season if the team wants him. However, Duquette, whose future is also uncertain, seemed to be downplaying that possibility.

“His contract is up,” Duquette said Sunday. “I don’t know whether Adam will be here or not, but the club is going in the direction of younger ballplayers, I can tell you that.”

Assuming Jones is still with the team tonight, this doesn’t have to fray his relationship with the Orioles.

Jones acknowledged that Mullins and DJ Stewart need to be auditioned in the outfield at get major league at-bats, and while it might be uncomfortable at first, the feeling here is that fans would continue to embrace Jones. What might be a dreary final two months for the Orioles—could turn into a “thank you, Adam,” instead.

Schoop’s the man

Accolades for the Orioles have been few and far between this season. Jonathan Schoop was named American League Player of the Week.

Schoop, who is in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak that equals his career-best, batted .379 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in six games.

It was the second time Schoop has won the award, and the second time an Oriole was named AL Player of the Week this year. Manny Machado captured the award for the period ending April 22.

Roster movement

With Brad Brach traded to Atlanta, the Orioles will add a player to the roster today. Brach’s removal puts the Orioles’ 40-man roster at 37, and eight of the 13 players not on the major league roster are injured—or rehabbing their injuries.

The only healthy minor leaguers on the 40-man roster are Donnie Hart, Ryan Meisinger, Chance Sisco, Breyvick Valera and Jimmy Yacabonis.

Catcher Andrew Susac, who played briefly with the Orioles earlier this year, had his season ended last week when a foul ball broke his left wrist.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Borg

    July 31, 2018 at 8:07 am

    I don’t see how anyone could regard Jones as selfish at all, though I am a bit puzzled as to why he would stay for two more months when it seems Duquette is saying the Orioles won’t be interested in resigning him back. Why wouldn’t they want him back? His power numbers are down, but he is still hitting almost exactly what he always hits, will end up with almost exactly the RBI he usually has, and is still a good defensive outfielder, though it might very well be time to move him to a corner position. I am all for the rebuild, but you can’t just get rid of EVERYBODY, and Jones could probably be had for the same or even a bit less per year than he’s signed for now. Who plays RF next year if Mullins takes over center? Rickard? Not an everyday player. Trumbo, not a right fielder you want out there too often. Valencia? Hopefully, they can get something for him today in the trade market. But the article was dead on when it says the contract worked out well for both parties, and how often does that happen?

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 31, 2018 at 8:31 am

      Borg, you make some excellent points. I think if Austin Hays can get healthy and productive in the last month of Bowie’s season, the Orioles could think about him as a possible solution, or part of one, anyway for next year.

  2. JCO

    July 31, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Move him to right, and he’s a productive bat with a bonus…a leader for a team that will need one with all the young guys coming up. The move to right is key…right now he’s a below-average centerfielder due to losing a step or two. But I’m happy to have him back and even resign him.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 31, 2018 at 9:40 am

      These are valid thoughts, JCO, and they seem to be shared by many fans.

  3. Eldersburg Enigma

    July 31, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Why is Schoop still here after the week he’s had?

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 31, 2018 at 9:41 am

      It’s not an enigma to me. I think the Orioles would trade Schoop now only if the return was considered spectacular.

  4. twomooks

    July 31, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Adam Jones certainly earned the right to refuse a trade. He brings so much to the Orioles, to Baltimore, and to baseball in general. I have great respect for him and hope to see him play for the Orioles & contribute until he decides it’s time to hang up the cleats. He is a professional with such heart, soul, personality, and leadership qualities. I hope the Orioles treat him the way he has treated the fans – with respect and appreciation.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 31, 2018 at 10:06 am

      You make some excellent points, twomooks. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  5. Creatively09

    July 31, 2018 at 10:11 am

    I respect Jones’ decision to stay, though I do wish he’d accept a trade for the betterment of the club. It’s his decision which he’s absolutely earned the right to do.

    I’m starting to wonder if perhaps the O’s, looking to recoup something from Jones might actually put a QO on him. It would only be a marginal pay raise from what he’s making now – maybe a million more if that, but the O’s would benefit from having his leadership in the clubhouse, and the stability of his bat in the lineup (in RF, of course). He might be encouraged by the interest shown in him by Philly to reject a QO in hopes of getting a long term contract that would result in some stability for him – after all, that’s what he wants by staying in Baltimore to end 2018. If Jones doesn’t accept the QO then at least the O’s will get a draft pick in compensation from it.

    I’m not expecting the O’s to place a QO on him, but it wouldn’t be the craziest thing in the world either.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 31, 2018 at 10:22 am

      If the Orioles proffered a qualifying offer, I would expect him to accept it.

  6. Orial

    July 31, 2018 at 10:31 am

    I find it ironic that in a time when it’s hard to get players to come to Baltimore and fans complaining about it that you have a player who bleeds orange and wants to stay you again have fans complaining. His intangible qualities would be a huge asset going forward with a youth movement. One downside–as an aging,slowing ballplayer he would be returning with a team already blessed with Davis/Trumbo.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 31, 2018 at 11:53 am

      I think that there are a lot of fans who agree with you, Orial.

  7. TheGreat8

    July 31, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Get out while you still can Jonesy!! Torrey Smith has managed to keep up all his charitable events from Philly (and across the country) and has a bunch of kids in tow too.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 31, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Jones may well face that challenge next year, Great8.

  8. bv22

    July 31, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    I’m happy that he wants to stay and be one of the few shining lights on the team but his actions don’t jib with his statement about “wanting a ring” like all of his pals. At his age, opportunities for playing in October are dwindling so you’d think he would accept a trade to a contender such as Philly for two+ months. I understand the personal aspect of the argument but when opportunities arise, sometimes you have to take them.

    I hope the O’s don’t put a qualifying offer on him at the end of the year- that always seems to diminish the player’s market. For everything Jones has been to this team and organization, he deserves better than that from the O’s.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 1, 2018 at 7:38 am

      A qualifying offer might actually bring Jones more money than he might get on the free agent market.

  9. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    July 31, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    As noted he certainly has a right to stay. The ties developed over the years to the Baltimore community as well as his responsibility to his family likely weighed heavily in his decision. Also, the team offering a trade may not have been a good fit for Jones either. Based upon DD statements this is likely his last season with the Orioles, which is ashame. He could mentor Mullins, Hayes, and others in their transition to majors. Fans will always remember him as the key trade piece in 2008, whereby the Orioles built themselves into a playoff contender. He has been a great Orioles player and someone who gave back to the community. Best of luck moving forward.

    • Jack Gibbons

      July 31, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      Grand Strand, I watched Machado’s LA homecoming last night, and I wanted him to do well, almost as if it were a reflection on the Orioles and their fans. Machado was the Orioles’ best player, but Jones has been their leader, and, as you point out, the key trade piece in 2008. He’s the player who most represents their rebuild as a playoff contender, so it seems strange that he appears to be a player the Orioles don’t want around for the next rebuild. The Orioles might be underestimating his value as a mentor and clubhouse presence as they get younger.

  10. TxBirdFan

    July 31, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    I’m hoping Adam stays an Oriole. We need his leadership, his bat and his professionalism. I’m going to a couple of O’s games in Texas this week. I’ll be disappointed if he isn’t there.

    • Jack Gibbons

      July 31, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      TxBirdFan, During a game last week, Jones was standing next to manager Buck Showalter, the two having an extended conversation. I thought how much Showalter must appreciate having a player of Jones’ caliber and character.

  11. Caleb

    July 31, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    I’m all for getting rid of Dan Duquette! I don’t trust him at all. Don’t believe he has the Orioles best interest at heart. Send him to Canada, that’s where he wants to be.

  12. Churchton

    July 31, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    It is a crying shame that no one even offer to pick up strikeout king Chris davis today. Sort of like fee agency only the brain Anderson decided this man was with 23 million for seven years. Not manny but davis. Please

  13. Borg

    July 31, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    I stand corrected, apparently you can trade everybody. So if all if these contending teams want Orioles to go into their starting lineups, rotations and major bullpen roles, why didn’t the O’s win more than 32 games while they were here?

  14. SIXDAYWAR

    July 31, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    I have a T shirt that says 2110 Eutaw Street. 21 left and 10 should follow. Jones earned the right to finish out his final season in Baltimore if we wants. Once the whole TRUTH of what went on this season SHAKES OUT….He will not be back in an Orioles uniform. He may have a hard time finding another one either. The days of TEE IT HIGH AND LET IT FLY are over. Young hungry and willing to do whatever it takes to win are IN NOW. I notice that only as the band was being broken to pieces that suddenly they start winning as they could have all year. One thing I liked about Nick Markakis is this he didn’t treat going back home to Atlanta as a retirement contract. In fact hes having his best year right now. The younger players seem to have energized him. I think most of this year Adam has had what he is doing off the diamond and what is happening in America off the diamond more on his mind than just —remembering what its like to be young and hungry and o what it takes…—He better get that back or running charities is what he will be doing. That or media color analyst ….

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 1, 2018 at 7:42 am

      Adam’s numbers may be off a bit this season, but if all the Orioles hitters had similar numbers, the team wouldn’t have been broken up, SixDay.

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