Adam Jones said he hasn't heard from his representatives about any new contract extension proposals from the Orioles but isn't concerned by a lack of such talks, he tells Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Jones also isn't bothered by the other long-term deals being signed by young stars around baseball.
"You see it every day if you watch sports. You hear this guy signed, that guy signed. But that's a personal thing. That's an organizational call," said Jones. "It's not like the player can go up to the team and say, 'Hey, want to sign me?' I think it is an organizational call. If the organization wants you to be part of their future, they make that call.
"My side hasn't come to me, knocking down my phone, calling me, texting me. So that means nothing's in the works. Honestly, I've told my representatives to only hit me up if something is significant, because I am playing. The season has started."
Dan Duquette, the Orioles executive VP of baseball operations, said he visited with Nez Balelo, Jones' agent, during the club's recent road trip in Los Angeles. Nothing substantial appears to have been discussed, as Duquette said he met with both Balelo and several other agents simply to "keep a dialogue going" in regards to a number of different players. Duquette reiterated that he doesn't like to negotiate contracts during the season, believing it to be a distraction.
Last August, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes projected a Jones extension could fall in the range of four years and $40MM, though that would've entailed Jones and the O's agreeing to an extension that covered the 2012 season. Jones and the Orioles agreed to a one-year, $6.15MM deal for 2012 (Jones' second arbitration-eligible season) and tabled the extension talks, leaving Jones with one more arb-eligible year before hitting free agency after the 2013 campaign.
Through 16 games, Jones is on pace for his best offensive season (a .955 OPS in 69 plate appearances) and could significantly boost his asking price. Connolly thinks a Jones extension could be for six years and at least $75MM, making it the most expensive contract in Orioles team history. That type of so-called "franchise player" deal may be too much for Jones, in the opinion of one anonymous scout from another team.
"I like him a lot. He's a very good player. But will he be a great player? I don't know. He's still young, so maybe," said the scout. "But if you're going to give him franchise money, he has to be a great player. Someone will probably pay him like that regardless."
Jones said he enjoys playing in Baltimore, taking on extra responsibilities in the community as the team's only African-American player. If he and the O's haven't agreed to an extension by April 2013, however, Jones says he will test the free agent market.
"If I'm in the same situation next year (without an extension), I am going into my free-agent year. It would be hard to give up that right," Jones said.