The Orioles have had some preliminary discussions about an extension with the representative for center fielder Adam Jones, but the focus remains on resolving his contract situation for 2012, said Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette.
Jones, who hit .280 with 25 homers and was named the club's Most Valuable Oriole in 2011, is slated for an arbitration hearing on Friday. He is seeking $7.4 million and the club countered with $5 million.
If they cannot work out an agreement by Friday, a three-person arbitration panel will hear from both sides and then choose one number.
But Duquette said he would prefer to come to a one-year agreement with his 26-year-old center fielder before Friday.
"We're still in discussion as we come up to a hearing," Duquette said. "We've been working on it for a while."
When asked if he has spoken to Jones' agent about extending the outfielder's contract – which would expire after 2013 – Duquette said, "Yes, we have discussed a variety of different options. But the goal right now is to get a deal for this year and avoid the hearing."
More in-depth conversations about an extension could come later, he said.
Jones said previously this offseason that he would consider a long-term deal with the Orioles, but said the subject had not been presented by the club earlier this winter.