Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen has said he’s unsure whether to buy, sell or do both at the upcoming trade deadline, but the team is “shopping” at least a few players, Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote earlier this week. The list includes outfielder Adam Jones and the previously rumored duo of outfielder David Peralta and starter Robbie Ray, per Nightengale.
Trading veterans wouldn’t necessarily be a white-flag move on the part of Arizona, which could still find ways to remain competitive. Just last offseason, the Diamondbacks traded the longtime face of their franchise, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, in a package that netted them multiple major league-ready pieces in right-hander Luke Weaver and catcher Carson Kelly. Both players have helped the Diamondbacks’ cause during a 48-47 start that has put them a mere game behind the National League’s last playoff spot, though Weaver has been out since late May with a forearm strain.
Unlike Goldschmidt, it’s safe to say Jones wouldn’t return much in a deal. The longtime Oriole got off to a fast start with the D-backs this season after joining the club for a guaranteed $3MM in early March, but Jones’ offensive production has cratered since the beginning of June. Overall, the 33-year-old has hit .261/.310/.433 with 13 home runs and a personal-worst 90 wRC+ across 353 plate appearances. To Jones’ credit, after a few dismal years in the outfield at the end of his Orioles tenure, he has essentially been a neutral defender in right this season (zero Defensive Runs Saved, minus-0.6 Ultimate Zone Rating).
Even considering Jones’ passable work in the grass and his well-regarded leadership, the five-time All-Star’s production over the past couple years indicates he wouldn’t move the needle much for a playoff hopeful down the stretch. It seems doubtful anyone would acquire Jones and expect him to offer a ton of on-field value, but regardless, he wouldn’t be able to stop a trade from occurring. Thanks to the 10-and-5 rights Jones earned with the Orioles, he blocked a trade last year and finished the season in Baltimore.