Adam Jones avoids arbitration, but says no extension talks yet

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones describes himself as happy that he avoided a pending Friday arbitration hearing as he and the club settled on his 2012 contract tonight. But he said he had not heard anything yet from the Orioles about talk of a possible contract extension.

“Not to my knowledge,” Jones said when asked if contract extension talks have begun. “Maybe internally (among the Orioles) with themselves, but not that I know of. I don’t personally know of any talks. If you talk to CAA (his representatives) maybe they might know of it, but not that I personally know of.

“The ball is in their court, right?”

At FanFest last month, Jones said he was not sure how he would feel if the club approached him about contract extension talks that would drag into the new season. His uncertain stance on that doesn’t seem to have changed.

“I don’t know, I guess I am brand new to this sort of thing. Whatever happens, happens. I just go out there and get to do what I love to do. All the people that talk, let them talk. Let me play. I don’t care to see the talking back and forth. Just let me go play,” Jones said.

It was pointed out to Jones that if the club does want to engage him in extension talks, maybe they should approach his side pretty soon.

“Indeed. We can agree on that,” he said.

Jones signed for $6.15 million. He submitted an offer of $7.4 million and the Orioles countered at $5 million.

“I’m happy that it got done before I have to get on a bird for Tampa. We were ready to go (to a hearing) if need be. Now I get to stay (on the West Coast) and see my nephew’s sixth birthday. I get to stay out here in California for another four days and that is what I’m most happy about. It would have gotten done on Friday, that’s how baseball works,” Jones said.

“It got done quick and I get to stay here. Might as well be happy right? Why not be.”

Sometimes, arbitration hearings can lead to hard feelings between a player and management, but Jones said he didn’t see that as an issue if he would have had a hearing.

“I didn’t care about that part,” he said. “I don’t care about what would be said. I ain’t perfect so, you were going to be telling me stuff I already know. It’s like, OK. All it is, is a brutal reality check. You’re the employer, you should be able to say how you feel.”

As for the coming season, after a year where he hit .280 with 25 homers and 83 RBIs, he said he was excited about the 2012 campaign and felt like the Orioles could be an improved club.

“It’s pretty simple to me. You don’t need to spend $150 million in the offseason to prove that you want to win. You just need guys that want to play hard and win. Some things look good. We’ll see how everything lines up on the 24th (of this month). We’ll see how everything pans out,” he said.

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