New executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said during Orioles FanFest on Saturday that he has not entirely ruled out the possibility of bringing back free-agent outfielder Adam Jones.
“I don’t think anything is a dead issue,’’ Elias said during a brief Q&A session with reporters. “The free-agent market is ongoing. There are a lot of unsigned players left. We’re just going to have to see how things play out.”
Elias also addressed Jones during a half-hour onstage taking questions from season-ticket holders, but during his media session he tried to strike a balance between considering Jones’ reputation and long service to the organization with the obvious developmental priorities that accompany a long-term rebuild.
“Absolutely,’’ he said. “When you hear good things about somebody, it makes you feel better about bringing someone back. If somebody was not well-liked or appreciated by their teammates or their city, that would certainly be a disincentive to bring him back. But we’ll see.
“Like I’ve said, our focus is on elevating the capabilities of this organization and the talent level of this organization. I’ve got to keep sight of that, but we’re looking for ways to be opportunistic and shrewd with the players that are left unsigned right now.”
If you want to read between the lines, you have to factor in Elias' answer to an earlier question about whether the Orioles will sign any free agents to multiyear contracts. He didn't rule that out either, but said it was much more likely that whatever veteran free agents the team signs will be on one-year deals.
Read more from columnist Peter Schmuck on his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.
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