Angelos and Orioles better not screw up the Adam Jones situation

May 21, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Angelos and Orioles better not screw up the Adam Jones situation

You can file the Adam Jones story under “this is what you wanted…well, you got it.”

Now, or soon enough, it’s time for Jones to cash in.

And it will be the Orioles who do the paying.

Hopefully.

Jones isn’t a free agent until after the 2013 season, but fans are already clamoring for the club to sign him to an extension now, accomplishing two things in the process:  First, the Orioles would lock up the red-hot centerfielder and keep him in orange and black for a lengthy period of time.  Second, by signing him now, the Birds also prevent Jones from tasting the succulent flavor of baseball free agency, where it’s likely a team would overpay for his bat and glove.

This is what happens when your players get really good and you have to pay to keep them.

And in the case of Adam Jones, everyone wanted him to get good.  Everyone expected him to get good.  And now that he’s good, the Orioles have a situation on their hands.

Sign him now, during the 2012 season?  Or wait it out and talk money next winter?

No matter what, Jones can’t lose.

But the Orioles sure can, if they don’t do the right thing.

The most money the team has ever forked over in one sitting for a baseball player is the $72 million contract they agreed to with Miguel Tejada before the start of the 2004 season.

Jones might command close to double that amount over a 6 or 7 year period.

I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing I am at this point.

Just because the Orioles need to sign Adam Jones doesn’t necessarily mean they’re willing to do it.

Over the last five years, the O’s have passed on every big dollar free agent who was hanging around in the off-season.  There have been loose comments about “spending money once we’re competitive again” but up to now, Baltimore baseball fans have spent most of the winters frustrated at the Orioles’ lack of spending.  Four years ago, the team handed $66 million to Nick Markakis and $40 million to Brian Roberts, but this time, with Adam Jones, $66 million or $40 million won’t get the job done.  In fact, the Orioles might very well have to shell out the combined total of those two deals just to keep Jones in Baltimore.

Will they give Jones the $100 million contract he’s likely to command?

There’s also the “next guy” looming, catcher Matt Wieters, who doesn’t become free until after the 2015 season.  Whatever Jones costs the club, Wieters could garner twice as much.  By the time Wieters is free, who knows what the going rate will be for the best catcher in the game?

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13 Comments For This Post

  1. Christian Says:

    I’m 20 years old this year, so obviously I’ve haven’t see them win in which I was old enough to remember it. As much as it pains me to say this because I love this team, but if Jones says that he’s willing to resign here, and they don’t resign him, that would be the last straw for me with the organization, I’d be done with them and wouldn’t care about Baltimore baseball anymore until this ownership that has tried to ruin Baltimore baseball for me throughout my short life. As soon as they’re gone, I’d care again. Call me a bad fan for admitting that, but I’m apart of the generation that wants to see some Oriole Magic, and we’ve yet to witness it AT ALL…hopefully this season stays its current pace.

  2. Dan Says:

    Yeah , sign him up . Give him Roberts / Markakis money , 4 or 5 years, tops. He could stink next year and he knows that so he prob. takes it.

  3. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    It’s axiomatic that you have to “pay to play”! However, the “O’s” have not exactly shown much interest in paying for top notch talent in recent years, so Jones will prove to be a “test” that they cannot afford to…….fail!

  4. unitastoberry Says:

    I was waiting for you to write about this. It will be a good litmus test for the club going forward. Memo to Pete- You better divert some MASN money!Dont let him get away!

  5. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    If I’m Jones I tell my agent to just ride this out until after next year and test the market, because you know that Angelos is going to try to low ball him. If I were Wieters I would do the same thing after Angelos paying him on the cheap this year. Same story with the Orioles they talk a good game but rarely step into the batter-box and take a swing.

  6. mike paskoff Says:

    Drew,
    I think the O’s should simply offer Jones and Wieters 5 year deals for $80-$100 million each. That way they can show the players pretty much top dollar and also let the players see if the team can stay competitive over the next 5 years. Should the team regress, the players can try the free agency route in 5 years when Jones will be only 32 and Wieters 31 and they can then choose to leave Baltimore for a more competitive environment or simply the highest bidder.

    Mike Paskoff

  7. Joe in Fell's Point Says:

    Drew,
    It appears Angelos finds himself in a position he didn’t expect – the O’s winning and the fans demanding signing both players at high prices (and deserved based on MLB insanity). Amazingly, the O’s could have a Devil Ray’s like run over the next few years while the Yankees’ dynasty winds down. However, to capitalize on the opportunity the O’s need to sign Jones and Weiters to send the right signals to attract the necessary free-agents . Unfortunately, I don’t think Angelos is willing to spend the money which means we will foolishly hope that the O’s can make a playoff run in 2012 and 2013 without significant free agents.
    Joe

  8. Steve From Linthicum Says:

    “Losing one would be crushing. Losing both would be catastrophic.”

    My money’s on catastrophic.

  9. Chris Says:

    If they don’t get a deal in place before the start of spring training next year I think jones decides to ride it out and I wouldn’t blame him one bit. It’s been an enjoyable ride so far but in order to sustain this success (and it’s still too early in the season for me to believe they’ll be able to do it even the rest of this season) they need to take care of the players that get you there. It’s one thing for players outside of the organization not wanting to play. It’s quite another if this teams players decide they don’t want to play here or if the orioles make no real effort to sign them.

  10. BmoreBobRob Says:

    If given a chance of picking, both will sign or both will walk, I’ll take both will walk. I think Drew said it best when he mentioned that Angelos is hoping Jones comes back to earth next year so he can offer him less. I say offer instead of sign on purpose. Whatever happens it will be a completely mystery for the fans. Sort of like what happened with You Pon. A lot of fanfare and then poof, it was gone and we’ll never find out what really happened.

  11. Steve Says:

    Do you fans remember the Irsay and Curtis Dicky situation with the Colts back in 83? It was former WBAL TV Sportcaster Chris Thomas and the Sunpaper sports writer John Steadman all nagged Irsay to resign Curtis Dicky. Well It worked but Bob Irsay was furious with himself that he knew he shouldnt have allowed the press manipulated him. So he lost a lot of his money by signing Curtis Dicky he knew he couldnt make a profit with the Colts by the Lack of attendance at Memorial Stadium. So he snuck out of the night and moved them to Indy. Well maybe the baltimore sports media and WNST can nag and con Peter Angelos by resigning Adam Jones. If Peter Angelos gets upset then let him take the O’s to Montreal we will get a better team a better owner just like The Ravens are much better to have in Baltimore than having Jim Irsay here now.

  12. charlie Says:

    steve — good comparison.i remember sitting in memorial stadium during the last ’83 game against the oilers and chanting ‘we want dickey!’ but i’ve gotta say, people used to say the same thing about moving the colts that you say about moving the orioles. i disagree w/that. owners come and go faster than teams do. we’re lucky to have an mlb franchise, even if crummy angelos has degraded the team into a sham.

  13. barry Says:

    drew,
    sorry this is late but i just your blog. what you are saying makes sence. if they do not sign jones and/or trade him next year at the dead line what are they telling matt weiters, “get out of town quick.”
    dont forget who matt weiters agent is,boras, he will get top top dollar for him in a new contract.
    keep it in the short grass!!!
    barry

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