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.