Orioles' Adam Jones clears trade waivers, opening door for potential August deal

Orioles outfielder Adam Jones has cleared trade waivers, according to an industry source, meaning the club has officially made him available to potential trade suitors again.

The Orioles’ ability to trade Jones still remains in the outfielder’s hands because of his service time veto rights.

Running players through trade waivers in August is a common practice and is necessary to precipitate a deal after the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. But it doesn't mean a player will be traded — only that he's available to be dealt.

Even though much attention is placed on the nonwaiver deadline at the end of July, contending teams can still deal for players in August. A player must be on a team’s major league roster by the end of August to be eligible for the postseason.

While it leaves open the possibility of trading Jones, the Orioles’ longest-tenured player, he still must agree to any trade because he has 10-and-5 rights — 10 years of major league service time with at least five straight seasons playing for the same club.

Leading up to last month’s nonwaiver deadline, the Orioles were working on trading Jones, 33, to the Philadelphia Phillies, but he did not give consent to be traded there.

The night the deadline passed, Jones left the door open for approving an August trade.

“I’m going to weigh every option I have, just like I did this time,” Jones said July 31. “There’s still another month in the waiver wire and that kind of stuff, so you never know. But it’s my decision. I appreciate everybody with their two cents. I didn’t ask for it. But I greatly appreciate everybody with how they think Adam Jones should do his career.”

Since then, Jones has embraced a position switch from center field, where he’s been the Orioles starter since joining the club in 2008, to right field to allow prospect Cedric Mullins to be groomed in center over the season’s final seven weeks. While the Orioles would still be open to moving Jones — their final remaining pending free agent — to recoup a prospect or financial relief for their rebuild, Jones providing mentorship to Mullins is something the Orioles value looking toward the future.

The Orioles still have about $4 million left to pay Jones for the remainder of the season, money that could be allocated elsewhere.

The trade market remains fluid after the nonwaiver deadline. While the Phillies emerged as the frontrunner for Jones in the days leading up to the trade deadline, the Orioles were also long engaged with the Cleveland Indians regarding Jones. Cleveland, which has suffered a litany of injuries to its outfielders, traded for outfielder Leonys Martin at the deadline. But he is sidelined with a life-threatening bacterial infection, which leaves the Indians, who open a three-game home series against the Orioles on Friday, again seeking outfield depth.

Jones has played 11 seasons with the Orioles since being acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a trade for left-hander Erik Bedard in 2008. He is a five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner.

He’s batting .285/.317/.438 with 31 doubles, 13 home runs and 49 RBIs in 114 games. Over his past 23 games, Jones has a .341/.398/.518 slash line.

eencina@baltsun.com

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