* Adam Jones' six-year, $85.5 million deal -- which will be formally announced this morning -- is the largest in Orioles history. It breaks down this way: He'll get $2M signing bonus; $8.5M in 2013; $13M in 2014 and 2015; $16M in 2016 and 2017; and $17M in 2018.
With escalators, it could reach $91.5 million. Regardless, it is the second-largest total-value contract for a center fielder behind the Los Angeles Dodgers' Matt Kemp's ($160M).
He is ahead of Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen ($51.5M), Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes ($36M) and the New York Yankees' Curtis Granderson ($30.25M).
But one can guess that Jones' overall contract value will fall to third this winter, and maybe fifth by the end of 2013. Texas' Josh Hamilton is a free agent this year; Granderson and Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury are free agents after next season -- which would have been Jones' free-agent year, too.
* Dylan Bundy made his Frederick debut Saturday, and it was good, but not legendary. The 19-year-old gave up six hits and two runs – on a homer – in five innings. He struck out six. In his first 30 pro innings at Low-A Delmarva, he didn't allow an earned run.
This was the perfect opener for Bundy, in my opinion. He pitched well, but it wasn't completely smooth. And that's key. Because he will get hit as he progresses, and he needs to know how to rebound from bad pitches and -- eventually -- bad outings. This kid seemingly has it all, but dealing with adversity, big or small, is essential in the big leagues.
* Another outing worth watching was Zach Britton's performance at Double-A Bowie. Britton, on the DL since March because of a left shoulder impingement, allowed three hits, two walks and two runs (none earned) in five innings. He struck out six. Most important, he threw 88 pitches.
He'll need to be up to 100 or so before joining the Orioles at some point in June. So throwing 88 pitches is a nice building block, but that's also normally too many for five innings.
Although in this instance, his first game that counted since last September, that isn't a concern. The important thing is that he is pitching in a competitive atmosphere. The sharpness will come.