5:15pm: The Orioles “have had places to send” Jones, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post, but Sherman echoes Kubtako’s sentiments in reporting that Jones, to this point, does not want to waive his no-trade protection.
Specifically, Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets that “there was a chance to go to Philly,” though it’s not clear if the two sides had firmly agreed on a deal that Jones vetoed or if he simply nixed the idea while the O’s and Phils were negotiating. Heyman cites Jones’ family, friends and charity works in the Baltimore community as reasons for Jones preferring to remain with the O’s, even at the cost of a potential playoff race in the season’s final couple of months.
11:43am: Orioles center fielder Adam Jones has been popular in the rumor mill as Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline looms, but it doesn’t appear he’ll be part of a deal in the coming days. As a guest on 105.7 The Fan on Sunday, Orioles general manager Dan Duquette revealed that Jones is likely to stay with the team through the the deadline (via Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com).
“I do. I believe he’ll be an Oriole on Wednesday,” Duquette said. “These veteran players it’s a tough, tough decision. Rest assured that we have wrestled with that decision.”
As Duquette alluded to, Jones has a major say in his future, given that the pending free agent is a 10-and-5 player. Jones would be able to veto any trade as a result, and so far, he has told the Orioles that’s what he plans on doing, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets.
Jones’ situation could change, Kubatko notes, but as Dan Connolly of The Athletic (subscription required) explained earlier this weekend, he may not be in position to waive his no-trade rights in the middle of the season. Not only is the 32-year-old a Baltimore institution who has ongoing charitable endeavors in the city, but Jones also has a young family — one he may not want to uproot with a couple months left in the season. Of course, Jones told Melewski earlier this week that he’d like to play for a winner, which isn’t going to happen if he stays in Baltimore through 2018. The Orioles are competing for the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, not a playoff spot, whereas teams interested in Jones are pushing for postseason berths. To this point, Jones has reportedly landed on the radars of the NL East-leading Phillies, the AL Central-leading Indians and even the below-.500 Giants, per Kubatko, who adds that Philly was “making a strong push” to acquire the veteran.
In the event he’s not dealt this month, Jones could still have a change of heart and end up on the move in August, when his pricey salary (he’s currently owed roughly $7.2MM of his remaining $17MM) would make him a candidate to clear trade waivers. Jones may not be a significant upgrade for many teams at this stage of his career, though, and between that and his salary, he’s unlikely to bring back much in a trade. The five-time All-Star has only offered league-average offensive production thus far in 2018, having batted .281/.307/.431 with a 98 wRC+ in 424 plate appearances. Worse, Jones has endured a third straight rough season in center, where he has accounted for minus-15 Defensive Runs Saved, a minus-10.1 Ultimate Zone Rating and minus-8 Outs Above Average. Unsurprisingly, all of those figures rank toward the bottom of the majors.
While Jones has fallen off in center, he’s nonetheless primed to finish the year at the position should he stick with Baltimore. Otherwise, Jones could move to a corner if a trade occurs this season or at least vacate center heading into 2019. For now, the question will continue to be whether Jones will close the year as a member of the Orioles – with whom he has played since 2008 – or a World Series hopeful.