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

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.