BALTIMORE—Nearly five years after he played his final game with the Orioles, Adam Jones signed a one-day contract with the team and formally retired as an Oriole.
Jones was joined by executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias, who signed him to the contract and presented him with his No. 10 Orioles jersey.
Before the game, Jones was joined by former teammates, including Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Davis, Mychal Givens, Tommy Hunter, Nick Markakis and Darren O’Day. Messages from Ryan Flaherty, J.J. Hardy, Jim Johnson, Trey Mancini, Luke Scott and Matt Wieters were also played.
“I adopted this city. My wife’s from here. My kids were born here,” Jones said in a press conference before the Orioles played Tampa Bay in the second game of a four-game series. “We put our stamp here, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, various other groups. It was more with the people of Baltimore … It is my second home. Ir was a perfect marriage being here this long.”
Jones came to the Orioles before the 2008 season and played 1,613 games with the Orioles, eighth most in team history. His 1.781 hits and 263 home runs were fifth most. He won five Gold Gloves, was selected to the All-Star team four times and was a three-time Most Valuable Oriole.
He left the team after the 2018 season. The Orioles attempted to trade him to the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline, but he vetoed the trade, a decision that led to his estrangement from the team.
That’s over now. After he played in 2019 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and two years in Japan, Jones wants to be an Oriole for life.
“I’m not the first person to exit a franchise not the way that everybody expected it to,” Jones said. “It’s just business. Not everything is going to be beautiful. I played 11 years. What can I gripe about?”
Jones works with the commissioner’s office and was invited to be around the team often.
“My time with the Orioles did not overlap with Adam’s, but because of that, it was very evident the importance of his tenure with the franchise,” Elias said. “The impact that he left on this city and a lot of the players in that locker room. It was really clear to me that this was a guy that made a real impact in this place.”
Jones doesn’t want a full-time role with the Orioles.
“I’ve got young kids. To be a coach, that would be a stretch because that’s such a time commitment,” Jones said. “But to be involved in a franchise would be awesome. Who wouldn’t want to work for any franchise?”
Jones enjoys watching the Orioles, and was in the postseason three times and says the current Orioles don’t remind him of any of his teams.
“You’re going to hate this, but this team reminds me of the ’14 Royals,” Jones said. Kansas City swept the Orioles in four games that season. “I hate saying that. It burns my damn soul to say that. They are athletic. They put the ball in play.”