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

5 Comments

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.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
10 Comments

The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.