Less than 72 hours before the non-waiver trade deadline and the Orioles remain in talks with several clubs. However, they’ve been given no indication that center fielder Adam Jones will waive his 10-5 rights and approve a deal.
The Phillies, Indians and Giants have shown their interest in Jones, but a source confirmed earlier today that the five-time All-Star has expressed his desire to remain with the Orioles. The Phillies apparently were making a strong push for him.
The matter remains under discussion, according to the source.
Appearing on 105.7 The Fan earlier today, executive vice president Dan Duquette told MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski, “I believe he’ll be an Oriole on Wednesday.”
Whether there’s any fallout from the decision, such as how it impacts possible negotiations on a new contract over the winter, remains to be seen. The club wants to continue shedding payroll and acquiring young talent as part of its rebuild and Jones, who turns 33 on Wednesday, is a valuable trade chip.
Jones heads into today’s series finale against the Rays batting .281/.307/.431 with 28 doubles, 11 home runs 43 RBIs in 99 games. He can become a free agent in the off-season and both sides are open to a continuation of a relationship that began with a Feb. 8, 2008 trade with the Mariners.
Manager Buck Showalter said he isn’t dwelling on whether today could mark Jones’ last home game with the Orioles, who embark on a three-city road trip Tuesday.
“To say things like that don’t cross my mind is less than frank, OK?” Showalter said. “I don’t know. If I did know, I would give you a little more guidance on it. I know Adam brings a lot to a team, to ours.
“First of all, Adam’s got control over it and rightfully so.”
Asked whether it would surprise him if Jones finished the season with the Orioles, Showalter replied, “No. Nothing surprises me.”
“Adam’s somebody that people like having around,” Showalter said. “You can count on him. He’s a very accountable, consistent man. Know what you’re going to get from him every day on all sides of it. Very consistent force. I think he showed in the WBC what he’s capable of on a stage like that. We’ve seen it here. If there is some interest in him, it wouldn’t surprise anybody. There should be.”
Jones grew to become the face of the franchise, the recognition and accolades extending beyond the white lines. His charitable work has left an indelible mark in the community.
“He’s been a very consistent force in all things,” Showalter said. “He does those things for the right reason. He passionately believes in them. Adam, he may not admit it, he’s as old school in a lot of ways as it gets.”
Showalter cited a moment in last night’s game when he intended to remove Jones in the late innings. Jones was fine with the idea until noticing that a left-hander was warming in the visiting bullpen. Left-handed hitting Jace Peterson was set to bat for Jones in what, on paper, was an unfavorable matchup.
“Adam comes off the field and goes, ‘I got it. Pete doesn’t have to hit off this guy throwing 100,’” Showalter said. “Now, if you know Peterson, he goes, ‘Are you kidding me? I’ve got this.’ Which is why we like Jace Peterson. But those are little things. It’s important to Adam to be more than a player. A lot of guys talk about things without action. Adam may talk about a problem, but he’s got ideas how to help. But I think it’s not for attention or anything. It’s just because it’s the right thing.
“You don’t want to know his opinion, don’t ask him. I enjoy him. I find him very entertaining. And most of the time he’s right and we’re on the same page about everything. He doesn’t miss anything. He is a watcher, he is a noticer. And he is a bs caller. He sniffs out bs in a heartbeat. If you try to fool him ...
“I love the father and husband he’s become. It’s fun to watch. But there are things that go on and he understands the business part of it and the world that he’s a part of. He’s got a grip on it. Don’t ever underestimate him in a lot of ways.”
Showalter has met with some players who are thrust in the middle of trade speculation and rumors, a few seeking him out, but Jones hasn’t approached him.
“We had a couple of conversations on the plane, not necessarily about a trade or his approval, just some other things and career-wise,” Showalter said.
“The thing that drives players crazy is the unknown. I want them all, if I can help them, is to let them know what’s coming. It may be, a couple days from now you’re not going to play. You are going to play two days from now. I’m going to play you at third base two days from now instead of your normal position. You try to give them a heads-up and that’s what I’ve always tried to do with Adam.”
Outfielder Craig Gentry won’t begin his injury rehab assignment Monday night at Single-A Delmarva.
Gentry is on the disabled list with a fractured rib and the Orioles set up another MRI for him.
“They’ve decided to hold off on his rehab assignment,” Showalter said. “He’s not quite there yet. Going to reimage him just to be sure. I know I had talked about him starting his rehab on Monday and that’s not going to happen now. Hopefully, shortly thereafter.
Gentry hasn’t played since June 23 in Atlanta. He was hit by a pitch the previous night.
“Just not quite there yet,” Showalter said. “Trying to be very diligent about making sure that’s healed before we go there.”
Infielder Steve Wilkerson (oblique) will begin his rehab assignment Wednesday at Single-A Frederick.
According to STATS, last night marked the first time in Orioles history that the seven, eight and nine hitters in the lineup combined for at least 10 hits.
For the Rays
Joey Wendle LF
Matt Duffy 3B
Jake Bauers 1B
C.J. Cron DH
Michael Pérez C
Daniel Robertson 2B
Mallex Smith CF
Carlos Gomez RF
Willy Adames SS
Yonny Chirinos RHP
Update: The Orioles sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning, worked starter Yonny Chirinos for 28 pitches and took a 3-0 lead. Tim Beckham doubled and scored on a force play and Chris Davis hit a two-run homer, the ball popping out of Mallex Smith’s glove as he reached over the center field fence.
C.J. Cron led off the top of the second with a home run to reduce the lead to 3-1.
Update II: The Rays committed two errors in the second inning and the Orioles increased their lead to 4-1 on Jones’ RBI single.