As a pending free agent on a rebuilding team, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is a logical trade candidate leading up to Tuesday’s non-waiver deadline. While the 32-year-old has drawn interest on the trade market this month, he’s more likely than not to finish the season in Baltimore, Dan Connolly of The Athletic hears (subscription required). “Multiple” clubs have asked the Orioles whether Jones would be willing to waive his 10-and-5 rights and accept a trade, but the “sense” is he’ll stay where he is, Connolly writes. Even if Jones does remain with the O’s through the season, that doesn’t necessarily mean the team will re-sign the longtime franchise linchpin over the winter, Connolly notes.
More from Baltimore…
- Unsurprisingly, general manager Dan Duquette announced Saturday that the rebuilding O’s are primed to cut spending at the major league level over the next couple years, Rich Dubroff of BaltimoreBaseball.com relays. “We’re going to invest enough to develop a competitive major league team, and I would expect the club will take the payroll down next year and the year after and reinvest those resources,” said Duquette. The Orioles’ Opening Day payroll this year checked in a bit under $149MM, per Cot’s, placing them just above the middle of the pack in spending. Baltimore’s hopes of contending blew up in its face, though, and now the club’s at the beginning of a teardown. Fortunately, Duquette revealed that the Orioles will look to “invest heavily in the foreign market” after largely ignoring it to this point – an ownership-driven call that has garnered widespread criticism. Of course, with Duquette’s contract up at season’s end, it’s unclear whether he’ll play any part in the Orioles’ rebuilding efforts heading into 2019. Neither Duquette nor manager Buck Showalter, another soon-to-be free agent, gave direct answers when asked about their futures, according to Dubroff.
- Third baseman/outfielder Danny Valencia has been a decent buy-low pickup for Baltimore after signing a minor league deal in March, but he’s not drawing much trade interest, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. The righty-swinging journeyman has offered league-average offense across 265 plate appearances this year (.268/.321/423 with nine home runs), and he has typically posed a threat against left-handed pitchers. But Valencia’s not a strong defender, Kubatko observes, which is likely hampering his market. In the event Valencia’s not dealt this month, he could still end up as an August trade candidate if teams are continuing to look for bench help, per Kubatko.
- Outfielder Joey Rickard faces long odds of returning to the Orioles next year, in part because their “system seems packed with outfielders,” Dubroff writes. An Oriole since they selected him in the 2015 Rule 5 Draft, the 27-year-old Rickard has picked up 687 major plate appearances since 2016 but has batted just .247/.295/.370 and posted a replacement-level fWAR. Considering he has minor league options left and still has four arbitration-eligible seasons remaining, the Orioles could keep Rickard at the Triple-A level or try to find a taker via trade if they’re uninterested in continuing to use a 40-man spot on him.