Every game the Orioles win, Adam Jones makes a little more money

April 29, 2012 | Drew Forrester

All of this winning being done by the Orioles is not only welcomed, but potentially as costly as well.

First, and I’ll stress that I know it’s early so no one accuses me of drinking the kool-aid, it’s only fair to mention how pleasing it is to watch the Orioles play winning baseball for the first month of the season.  I’m not willing to think ahead and tease myself with thoughts of “what if?” because I’d rather just watch it all play out and follow it without expecations.  But from the beginning of the season, when I predicted a 78-84 record, I fully expected this year’s Birds to be much better than the 2011 version.  So far, I’m right.

Those of us in the diehard category of Orioles fandom have seen this kind of good start before, followed all to shortly by a May nose-dive or June swoon.  This year, though, might be different.

The most interesting part of winning for the Orioles could be the effect it has on the team’s financial picture.  It’s not quite “Major League” (the movie) in theory, but it might be close.  You’ll recall in that film that once the Indians learned they were being shortchanged on everything from personnel to travel to hot-tubs, the players banded together and decided to win just to spite their cheap owner.

This edition of the 2012 Orioles could make life tough for their owner if the winning continues in Baltimore.

Between now and October, 2013, the Birds need to sign Adam Jones to a long-term contract or risk losing him to free agency.  Lots of people – including this writer – believe the club should re-sign Jones now, before his contract expires, the way both Boston (Pedroia) and Tampa Bay (Longoria) did with their young, star players a few years ago.  Jones, of course, could simply turn down any offer made by the Orioles and vow to “play out the string” and see what free agency provides him in 18 months.

But if the Orioles want to prove to their fans, and to their players, and to the rest of baseball, that they actually do care about winning, they’ll get a new deal done with Jones sometime soon.

The problem is:  How much might it cost the Orioles?  And does all of this winning going on actually increase the value of Jones?

It’s anyone’s guess what Jones would be willing to sign for right now, but with one-year left on his deal (which will likely pay him somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million depending on arbitration) in Baltimore, it’s probably going to take a starting offer of $90 million for 6 years just to get his attention.

Think about that, for a second.  $15 million a year for a player who still hasn’t played a major league game that matters.

What happens if the Orioles actually continue, somehow, to win?

Pretend for a minute that baseball fairies do exist and that they get together around the 4th of July and decide to make this one of those once-a-decade stories where some team no one expects to win winds up winning the division and capturing the hearts of the baseball world.

Just allow yourself to drift off and dream that 2012 is the Orioles year.

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13 Comments For This Post

  1. eric Says:

    Uh have you seen the May schedule? If we win tomorrow to go 15-8 I’ll still be shocked if we’re above .500 June 1st. And no winning does not increase Jones’ value, Jones’ numbers increase his value. He’ll make more money if he hits 35 HR’s and the O’s win 70 games then he will if he hits 20 HR’s and the O’s win 85. (DF: They’re not winning 85 games if Jones hits 20 HR’s. That’s the whole point. The only way they’re any good is if he has a GREAT season.)

  2. Steve From Linthicum Says:

    What will Peter do?? I think we all know the answer, and that is what makes this so frustrating. Suppose this is one of those “Why not”, magical years that just comes out of nowhere and rekindles a love affair that has been buried under the ashes of the past 14 seasons and an arrogant ownership that seems to do the exact opposite of what the fan base wants??? ( I swear, I think he does do the opposite just to show the fans that they aren’t in charge!) Anyway, should this be one of those years, as much as I’d like to go “all in” in a way I haven’t been able to in years, I’d still be reluctant, because I still think Jones will be gone by the end of next year, Weiters will follow, etc, etc, etc. One of the things that makes the Ravens so beloved is that when you embrace a star player, you know he’ll be here for the long term. But, if free agency is going to constantly get in the way of stability, and ultimately, winning, it will be hard for this life long fan to truly believe again. Honestly, it’s up to the owner to make me a believer, and his track record doesn’t bode well for that, does it?

  3. eric Says:

    Oh and your 2nd question what does Angelos do? Is this rhetorical? Don’t we slready know the answer? There are rumors though that Jones is willing to take a 4 yr 60 mil deal so he can be free again at age 30.

  4. sal Says:

    drew looks like john kruk, go os

  5. dave hittinger Says:

    This from the guy who wanted to run Adam Jones out of town. You’ve offically become “that guy”. (DF: I know you’re not talking about me…I’ve never wanted Adam Jones out of town. A few years ago I wanted him to be more professional, which, fortunately, he has…but I’ve said since last December they should re-sign him. I know you’re always looking to stir the pot, and that this is just another attempt to do that, but you’re going to need to start following along a little more closely or just go away. “Have a good day” – as Tiger said.)

  6. trevor Says:

    Maybe Angelos will drop dead by then

  7. unitastoberry Says:

    Talk to me July 4th.

  8. Mike from Carney Says:

    If you’re sipping the kool aid, it might taste a little “bitter” for you. Nice crowd out there yesterday. Great game for all the idiots as you call it. (DF: If you think I don’t enjoy seeing the Orioles win, you, then, ARE an idiot. I’d like nothing more than to have winning baseball to talk about this summer and fall. I know you write stuff just to be a contrarian, but you’re clearly trolling just-to-troll when you write garbage like you just wrote. Sorry to be so harsh with you, but your act is getting old.)

  9. Matt S. Says:

    Andrew McCutchen’s contract would be a good benchmark for Jones.

    McCutchen is arguably a better, younger CFer, and was awarded 6 years, 51.5 per year from the perennially pitiful Pirates

    The real difference will be the fact that because McCutchen was younger, cheaper years were bought out of the contract, bringing the value down to the reasonable 51.5 over 6.

    Since Jones is in his post-arb years, you have to increase the price a little bit. I’m saying six years, 66 million would be a fair contract for both sides.

  10. Jason Manelli Says:

    Winning baseball is fun for the fans but costly for ownership. Showalter is plausible recast as Major League’s crusty Lou Brown. I really believe that a lot has changed inside the Orioles over the last few years, and I also believe WNST has contributed to that move in the right direction by being a voice in the wilderness. If we ciould only get their PR department to stop clinging to it’s Stalinistic policies about controlling the flow of information to only those ‘official’ channels I think we’d actually be in really good shape as a city and its ball club.

  11. Mike from Carney Says:

    No need to apologize. I just happen to have thicker skin. 31,000 plus at an A’s game? I really think the positive attitude is coming from the realists. I had a nice lunch across the street and BOTH bars were packed. I agree that the schedule is going to be rather brutal, but let’s keep this rolling! (DF: I’ll help you with the facts, since that’s what I do. And you obviously don’t know what happened on Sunday. It was “Little League Day”. The club sold 12,000 tickets to area Little Leaguers and their families. That’s how you get 31,000 on a Sunday in April. Anytime you need someone to give you the info, I’m here for you.)

  12. Steve Says:

    Remember the movie “its a wonderful life”? Everytime a bell rings an angel gets his wings. And this one i created,,Everytime the O’s lose GOD kills a kitten ,,So O’s players please think of the Kittens :(

  13. Mike from Carney Says:

    I know, I happened to be there on Sunday. But, it’s a promotion like any others, and if that brings them to the ballpark, so be it.

    I don’t think that those families were forced to be at the game. Good times, great game !

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