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.

Rays’ Yandy Díaz gets three-year, $24 million deal to avoid arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.