The big news this weekend was the signing of Adam Jones to a six-year, $85.5 million contract extension.
I have been asked by plenty of people my opinion on this.
So here’s my take:
The Orioles, honestly, had two options by the end of July: Sign Jones to an extension or trade him for prospects.
The 26-year-old center fielder’s value would not have gotten higher after July. Sure, you could try to deal him this offseason, but he’d be facing a real big payday in his last year of arbitration. And, considering he’d be a free agent at the end of the 2013 season, dealing him this winter would be viewed by many as a one-year rental.
Besides, the market is always more ripe in July, when a contending team or two gets desperate to add that missing piece.
The problem with dealing Jones this summer is that the Orioles could still be in playoff contention. And if they are, selling off arguably their best player for prospects would have been a PR nightmare.
So, really, the Orioles’ hot start left them little choice in this matter – unless they wanted to risk a lesser trade haul in the winter or the worst-case scenario, watch Jones walk in 2013 with nothing really coming back in return. Because if he were one season from free agency, he wasn’t going to sign a long-term deal. That would have been foolish.
Jones, of course, also complicated matters by putting up tremendous numbers these first two months, showing that he, indeed, likely is a player to build around.
As executive vice president Dan Duquette – in one of his best quotes in his brief tenure – said: “The dude rang the cash register every time he hit a home run. So I mean Adam kind of forced the issue, didn’t he?”
He did. And, in my opinion, it’s a risk worth taking.
It sure is a lot of money to pay for anyone. But the guy is young, talented, accomplished and plays a premium position.
Sure he has some holes in his game – he needs to walk more, he occasionally allows his emotions to get the better of him – and, sure, the Orioles haven’t exactly hit paydirt with some of their previous contract extensions.
However, given the timing, the player and the overall tenor of the fans – they want to believe, but they’ve seen this movie before – it’s a move that had to be done.
Now, what do you think?
Daily Think Special: What’s your take on the Adam Jones’ extension?