Baltimore Orioles

Interest remains in Adam Jones trade, but will everything come together by Tuesday deadline?

The Orioles have just more than four days to trade center fielder Adam Jones, a long process that includes negotiating with teams, moving trade pieces in and out, coming to an agreement, reviewing physical examinations and maybe the most important piece of the puzzle: receiving Jones’ approval on a trade because he has service-time rights that allow him to navigate his destination to a spot on a contending team.

That all could catch up to the Orioles, who have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. to finalize a deal involving Jones. Time speeds up this time of year as contending clubs try to improve their teams before the nonwaiver trade deadline. The Orioles would also like to move right-handed reliever Brad Brach, the team’s other remaining pending free agent, by that date.


While the Orioles are progressing in trade talks to move Jones — discussion has progressed beyond expressing interest and onto a dialogue about specific players the Orioles could receive — the two top suitors for Jones, the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies, are also talking to other clubs about potential deals that could affect the return the Orioles would be offered for Jones, according to an industry source.

It’s not simply players being discussed, but also payroll considerations (whether an acquiring team would pick up the remainder of Jones’ $18 million salary this season) and even international bonus slots that could change hands, said the source, who added that it’s not clear whether all the components lined up, but that significant interest in Jones remains.


Still, the market on Jones is unclear. His veteran leadership and presence is unquestioned, and there’s no doubt going to a contender would rejuvenate him. (He began spring training saying he wanted a chance to win a ring.) Jones will turn 33 the day after the trade deadline, and his .724 OPS is the worst of his career. His 0.3 wins above replacement, according to Baseball Reference, is the worst of his career with the Orioles, hurt by a career-worst minus-1.2 defensive WAR. His minus-15 defensive runs saved are also a career low, though those numbers have been helped by some shoddy defensive play at the corner outfield spots that flank him.

And Jones must still agree to any deal because he has at least 10 years of major league service time and five with the same team. Jones said Thursday that he hadn’t been approached about whether he’d approve a trade or not. Two trade deadlines ago, catcher Jonathan Lucroy nixed a trade to the Indians, forcing the Milwaukee Brewers to scramble to find a new trade partner, ultimately trading him to the Texas Rangers on deadline day.

Jones said he hasn’t yet considered whether he’d be a fit with any of the teams linked to him. Other than the Indians and Phillies, the Orioles also received interest from the San Francisco Giants.

“Until that happens?” Jones shrugged about being approached about a potential trade first. “Until that happens, we shall see.”

Jones also acknowledged on Thursday that his situation is different from that of the other pending free agents who have been dealt: Manny Machado and Zach Britton.

“Because they could be traded without their acknowledgment,” Jones said. “They’re two different scenarios. Obviously, Manny is the once-in-a-lifetime guy, so he’s the one who is going to get the megadeal and obviously they’re not going to do that here. With Zach, he has an opportunity since the closers are getting a lot of money, he goes out and has a good two months with New York, he can set himself up for a huge contract somewhere. Me, I’m a little older, so it’s going to be different. My market is completely different than those two.”