Adam Jones and the Orioles had “preliminary discussions” about long-term deal

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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.

It looks like Bryce Harper cheated in the Home Run Derby

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I just saw Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs refer to this as “BryceGhazi” and we’re not gonna top that, so we shouldn’t even try.

The controversy: Bryce Harper, in defeating Kyle Schwarber in the Home Run Derby last night, didn’t follow the rules. Or else his dad, who was pitching to him didn’t. The rule in question is that the pitcher has to wait for the last hit ball to land before delivering the next one. Given that the Derby is a timed event, such a thing matters, of course, because the faster you get pitches the faster you can hit them out of the park. At least if you don’t get too tired first.

Harper’s dad was a bit quick with the final three pitches in the final round, allowing Harper to get to 18, tying Kyle Schwarber before winning it outright with his 30 seconds bonus time. Watch as Harper waves for his dad to deliver the pitch while the last ball is still flying:

I’m not gonna argue that he didn’t do it. I will say, however, that no one should really care. Mostly because it’s the Home Run Derby and it doesn’t matter a bit. Getting mad about this is a half-step removed from getting mad that Blackjack Mulligan used a foreign object to gouge Pedro Morales’ eyes during a house show in 1976. Yes, it’s true, but c’mon, we’re entertaining people here.

I have not seen any suggestion that Kyle Schwarber is upset, but if he later says he is I’ll simultaneously understand yet still roll my eyes. I doubt MLB will do anything here or issue a statement of any kind. If it does, I’ll roll my eyes harder. Because, I repeat: It’s the Home Run Derby.