(Saturday 6:45 p.m. update — The Orioles have completed the deal and will announce it on Sunday, according to MASNSports.com. Jones’ agent Nez Balelo remained in Baltimore over the weekend to finalize details with executive vice president of baseball operations.)
In what would be a benchmark moment for the future of the organization, the Orioles are reportedly close to a club record long-term extension with star center fielder Adam Jones.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported Baltimore was closing in on a six-year agreement for money in the neighborhood of $85 million as of Friday morning. That contract would trump the franchise record $72 million contract the Orioles offered to Miguel Tejada prior to the start of the 2004 season. A new agreement would buy out Jones’ final year of arbitration before he was scheduled to become a free agent following the 2013 season.
Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has remained mum on the topic of a Jones extension, dodging questions about it in several local interviews, but it appears the Orioles will make a long-term commitment to the 26-year-old outfielder.
Jones is hitting .311 with 14 home runs (tied for second in the American League) and 29 runs batted in this season in what’s easily been his most productive start to a season in his seven-year career in the big leagues.
Reports indicate Jones has already taken a physical as the two sides iron out final details for the deal on Friday morning.
The center fielder is making $6.15 million this season and would likely become the highest paid player on the team with a deal certain to surpass the six-year, $66.1 million extension signed by right fielder Nick Markakis prior to the start of the 2009 season.
With the Orioles set to welcome the Kansas City Royals to town to begin a three-game set, Friday could prove to be a memorable night in the history of the organization.