A lot of people wondered if the Orioles would trade outfielder Adam Jones at the deadline. He did not get moved, of course, and a big reason for that was that he has full no-trade rights pursuant to his being (a) a ten-year veteran; with (b) five years on his current team. Or, “ten-and-five” rights, as they’re colloquially known.
These are rights which the players union bargained for because no player likes to be traded when they’ve been someplace for a while. It uproots families and disrupts social and philanthropic efforts players — who are expected to have some loyalty to their community — tend to cultivate. In bargaining, the owners agreed. They agreed that, at a certain point, sure, it’s the right thing to allow guys of significant tenure to have a say in where they play.
I haven’t explored Baltimore Orioles fan message boards and haven’t sought out their comments since the deadline passed, but based on how such situations have played out in the past, I presume there are at least some fans who wish Jones would’ve waived his no-trade rights in order to allow the O’s to more completely tear things down. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com no doubt heard or expected such sentiment, so he asked Jones about not approving a trade. Jones’ comment:
Kubatko added later that there was no saltiness or anything like that on Jones’ part when he said this. He said it was matter-of-fact and that it was even a little amusing. Which is not surprising given Jones’ reputation. He’s one of the good ones.
You know me pretty well by now, so you know I’m staunchly in favor of players’ rights when it comes to this sort of thing. I share it, though, not so much as to wave the union flag as I do to remind folks that not every assertion of a players’ rights is some sort of anti-team, anti-management provocation, as they are so often portrayed. As Jones correctly notes, in this case a team asking the player to waive his rights is the one asking for more than that for which they bargained. They’re the ones trying to take a bit more, not the player.
As such, we should not ask, as we often do in these instances, why the player being intransigent or whatever. We should ask why the team is asking for more than it is entitled to and what they’re willing to do for the player to grant it a considerable favor.