Rarely, if ever, does someone who “settles” for $85.5 million get lauded for his or her good deed.
But Baltimore owes Adam Jones a major-league “thank you”.
Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking. ”Are you on dope, Drew? This guy with one REALLY good season under his belt just cashed in for almost $90 million and we’re supposed to be thankful that he chose us?”
Adam Jones signed away his one big opportunity to break the bank when he re-signed with the Orioles for the next six years. Might not mean much to you. But in the grand scheme of things, it means a lot.
Jones could have done what literally just about any other player would have done had he been faced with a similar situation: He could have bolted for more money, a better team, and an increased chance to win. Two of his teammates – Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts – did the same thing three years ago but they were both home-grown talent. It made sense for both to stick it out with the team that drafted them. Jones, at 26, is more “worldly” than each of those two were in 2009, mainly because he’s been in the big leagues for seven seasons. He understands the situation all too well. You usually get one chance in your career – if you’re good enough – to back up the Brinks truck and make a killing at the cash window. By staying in Baltimore, Adam Jones told the Brinks truck folks to stay away.
By choosing to stay in Baltimore, Jones gives the Orioles a legitimate chance to improve and, perhaps, contend over the next handful of seasons. Of course, they’ll need better players to do that, so the hometown nine can’t sit on their hands now and say, “What more do you people want? We signed Adam Jones (way) back in 2012.” And don’t let the Jones deal guide you into thinking the Orioles have suddenly changed their penny-pinching ways. GM Dan Duquette already pre-paved another winter without a marquee free agent when, during the Jones press conference on Sunday, he basically said he “doesn’t believe in” signing free agents as a way of making the team better.
But we’ll table the Orioles’ obligation to improve the team in the off-season and just revel for another moment or two in their decision to sign Jones.
It was the right thing to do at the right time. And, honestly, that’s not something the Orioles have been known for over the last decade.
(Please see next page)