Report: Orioles haven’t ruled out a reunion with Adam Jones

Adam Jones
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The Orioles haven’t closed the door on free agent outfielder Adam Jones, according to comments made by GM Mike Elias on Saturday. Speaking to reporters during the club’s FanFest event, Elias said the organization was still “monitoring everything” and intended to be “opportunistic and shrewd with the players who remain unsigned.”

“Opportunistic and shrewd” aren’t exactly the words you’d use to describe an impending free agent spending spree, however, and if Jones intends to hold out for a lucrative multiyear deal, it’s unlikely he’ll find one in Baltimore. The 33-year-old outfielder had a down year in 2018 — both at the plate and on the field — and finished his 11th run with the team batting .281/.313/.419 with 15 home runs, a .732 OPS, and a near- career-worst 0.5 fWAR through 613 plate appearances.

While Jones isn’t approaching the end of his career anytime soon, it’s uncertain whether the Orioles see enough value in their former franchise player to justify a long-term commitment. They already have a plethora of young outfield talent to bolster their rebuild, from Trey Mancini and Cedric Mullins to Joey Rickard, DJ Stewart, and Austin Hays. And Jones’ potential as a midseason trade chip is significantly hampered by his 10-and-5 rights, which enabled him to veto a trade to the Phillies prior to the 2018 deadline. That said, the veteran outfielder has drawn little interest from competing teams this winter, and may yet find some middle ground with the Orioles as the offseason enters its final month.

No lease extension, but Orioles and governor tout partnership

orioles camden yards
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The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.