The Orioles have apparently talked to the Atlanta Braves about a trade involving center fielder Adam Jones, and while that trade is off for now, it could heat up again. But there is a long list of other teams that might want to trade for Jones.
Who knows if the Orioles will trade the All-Star outfielder? They don’t have a lot of trade chips, and of the core players, he seems the most likely to go, assuming the right price. Jones has two years left on his contract, and that makes him attractive. The Orioles aren’t sure if they can sign him long-term.
The Seattle Mariners, Jones’ original team, need offense and a center fielder. They have prospects to trade, and for a team that might be interested in Prince Fielder, they would certainly have the dollars to keep Jones long-term. Maybe second baseman Dustin Ackley could come to Baltimore in return.
The Boston Red Sox are looking for some one to play right field, and in the long term, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury could be gone and Jones could fit right in. But would the Orioles trade him to a division rival?
The Detroit Tigers would like another outfielder to compliment Austin Jackson.
Jones could anchor a lineup in Kansas City and the Royals have the deepest farm system in the AL.
The Chicago Cubs could use an upgrade in center field and Jones is Jed Hoyer’s type of athlete.
Jones would be a huge upgrade over center fielder Carlos Gomez of the Milwaukee Brewers. The only problem is that the Brewers made a big-time trade last offseason.
The New York Mets are always in the market for a big-time player, and they have the money to retain Jones.
The Philadelphia Phillies have Shane Victorino, but Jones would be a better answer long-term.
The Washington Nationals were a good fit, but now that the Nationals have acquired Gio Gonzalez, it’s highly unlikely they’d go after Jones.
If the Braves and Orioles have talked once, chances are they are going to speak again. The deal might be done for now, but the Braves might change their mind and part with some of their young pitching. Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens, who has a history of knee injuries, and outfielder Martin Prado were not nearly enough for the Orioles. Prado best serves a team when he’s a utility player.
Other thoughts: Of the eight postseason teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks are the most improved this winter, considering they have added outfielder Jason Kubel and pitchers Trevor Cahill for the rotation and Craig Breslow for the bullpen. ... The Chicago White Sox were trying to trade pitcher John Danks and then signed him to a contract worth $65 million. Maybe now, with the financial certainty, he’ll be more attractive to a team like the New York Yankees. ... If the Texas Rangers sign Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, they’ll have the “most Americanized’’ pitcher from Japan, said former Boston manager Terry Francona, adding, “It’s not going to be as big of an adjustment for Darvish to our game than it was for other pitchers from Japan.’’ ... The market appears soft for free agent Prince Fielder, which means that he could return to Milwaukee on a short-term deal. ... Look for Oakland to trade closer Andrew Bailey to Boston in January. ... Another good pitcher that could be acquired via trade: Houston’s Wandy Rodriguez. ... Even with Albert Pujols gone, the St. Louis Cardinals are still strong enough to win the National League Central. ... Miami manager Ozzie Guillen says the Marlins’ new ballpark will be fair to hitters and pitchers. “But until we play, we aren’t sure how it’s going to play, but I don’t think it will favor the hitters or the pitchers,’’ Guillen said. ... Speculation that Seattle starter Felix Hernandez could be had in a trade is just that - speculation. ... Cincinnati made an excellent trade when they acquired pitcher Mat Latos. Each of the prospects traded to San Diego was blocked by better players. None of those players, except for Edinson Volquez, were going to be contributors to the Reds’ season in 2012. Latos has all the tools to be an elite starter. ... Happy new year to all.