By Dan Connolly
6:00 AM EDT, April 24, 2012
I had a chance to sit down with Orioles center fielder Adam Jones this weekend in California to discuss the possibility of him signing a long-term contract with the Orioles.
I also spoke with Orioles’ executive vice president Dan Duquette for the story that ran in this morning’s papers. You can read it here.
There haven’t been any significant negotiations as far as we know, though Duquette and Jones’ agent, Nez Balelo of CAA, met this weekend in Anaheim. Balelo is primarily based out of Los Angeles.
My personal take on the Jones situation is this: I don’t think the Orioles will extend Jones and instead will trade him for more young pitching – especially if they can get a potential future ace -- perhaps this July or in the offseason. I will say that is more of a guess than any absolute inside knowledge of the situation. But if they feel they can get an eventual top of the rotation starter, I could see Duquette pulling the trigger.
Honestly, I don’t think a path involving Jones has been decided yet, but I believe the Orioles feel they need to bolster the quality of pitching in their system no matter what. Jones is their best trade chip, will be expensive to re-sign and is a free agent after 2013.
In comparison, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters can be under team control through 2015 andJ.J. Hardy is through 2014.
Personally, I think Jones is going to have a huge year this season – which will both increase his trade value and his future market value.
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