Earlier this offseason there were some trade rumors swirling around Adam Jones, but now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles “have had some preliminary discussions about an extension” with the 26-year-old center fielder.
For now the two sides are scheduled for an arbitration hearing Friday to determine if Jones will be paid $7.4 million or $5 million this season. Settling somewhere around the $6.2 million midpoint before then is likely, with executive vice president Dan Duquette telling Connolly that they’ve “been working on it for a while.”
Duquette also revealed that the Orioles “have discussed a variety of different options” for Jones regarding a multi-year deal. He’ll be arbitration eligible for the third and final time next season, at which point Jones will be a 28-year-old free agent in line for a big payday. Last year he hit .280 with 25 homers and a .785 OPS and among the 32 center fielders with at least 1,000 plate appearances during the past three seasons Jones ranks seventh with a .781 OPS.
The Rockies have signed free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.
Desmond, 31, played his first season as a full-time outfielder with the Rangers in 2016. Before that he was the Nationals shortstop. He’ll almost certainly be an outfielder in Colorado, as the Rockies have Trevor Story at short.
Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 677 plate appearances. The Rangers had placed a qualifying offer on him which he rejected, so the Rockies will have to give up their first round pick in the 2017 draft, which is 11th overall. That’s the highest pick a team can surrender under the qualifying offer system, as the first ten picks in the draft are protected.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins have signed lefty Jeff Locke. Terms have yet to be disclosed.
Locke was non-tendered by the Pirates last week after putting up a 5.44 ERA over 127.3 innings in 2016. He’s just 29 and, even if he’s never been super great or anything, he has pitched better in the past, posting a career 4.16 ERA before last season.