Well, Dan Duquette did say repeatedly last year at the Winter Meetings, not long after taking the job here in Baltimore, that Adam Jones was a player to build around.
Now the Orioles reportedly are doing just that.
This morning’s reports from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports that the Orioles are close to signing Jones to a contract extension should come as great news to a fan base that is still getting used to the giddy development of being in first place.
I guess this also puts to rest some fan speculation that Jones would never re-sign here. Jones had said several times that he was open to staying in Baltimore and that clearly has proven true.
He is currently batting .311 with 14 homers, 29 RBIs and and with an OPS of .958. Jones is sixth in the American League in batting average, tied for second in homers and fourth in OPS. Only Josh Hamilton has hit more homers in the AL this year. Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder need to add their homer totals together (each has seven) to match Jones.
Today is a great day for the Orioles’ franchise. Fans have called my radio show this season to say if the Orioles want to prove to the fans they want to win, they needed to re-up Jones. That message has been sent today.
Jones is sending a message as well: one that says he believes in the future of this team. No doubt the Orioles are showing him the money and, let’s face it, that is the most important factor in getting a deal done.
But reporters have learned that Jones is a guy that hates losing and by coming to terms on a new deal he is investing in the team’s future and letting everyone know he sees it as a good one.
There is always risk when any franchise hands out a megabucks contract. The Orioles’ deals with Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts have not worked out completely as they were envisioned.
But in this case, they have a top player at a premium defensive position that is emerging as a star. He won’t turn 27 until Aug. 1. He is heading into what should be the best years of his career, his peak seasons. The Orioles are making sure he will spend them at Camden Yards.
By the way, so much for Duquette’s talk about not negotiating a contract with players in season because it can serve as a distraction.
Jones has earned a new deal. He’s not only becoming a great player right before our eyes, but also a leader on the team and a strong member of the Baltimore community.
Guess that Erik Bedard trade is working out.
It didn’t seem possible, but the 2012 season just got even better for Orioles fans.