Jones: Long term deal never discussed
While there was a thought that perhaps the Orioles would discuss a multi-year contract with Adam Jones, the outfielder said Wednesday night that that possibility never came up in negotiations between the team and Jones’ agent.
“Not that I know of, to be honest with you,” said Jones in a phone interview from Atlanta, where he’s filming a commercial for Nike. “If [the Orioles] came to the table [with a long term offer], you will obviously listen to whatever they are talking about because it’s your career. And if they are trying to do something like that, well it’s not that I know of.”
Jones who calls Baltimore a “good place to play baseball” said the thought of the Orioles offering more than a one-year deal never really crossed his mind. Arbitration-eligible for the first time in his career, the two sides settled on a one-year salary of $3.25 million on Monday night, avoiding exchanging figures and a potentially contentious arbitration hearing.
“To me, I was thinking that I know I’m going to make more money than I made last year,” Jones said of the $465,000 he made in 2010 when the team unilaterally renewed his contract after he barely missed “Super Two” status. “That was the only thought. I had no idea what [principle owner] Mr. Angelos or [president of baseball operations Andy] MacPhail want to do with me personally long term.
“I think [arbitration] is an interesting part of baseball because the team can do whatever they want to do…Right now I’m under [the] team’s control for three years so they basically have the upper hand on what they want to do. If it comes to where I’m a free agent in three years and that’s the scenario you go with the scenario.”
For now, Jones’ focus remains on the field and in picking up where he left off at the end of 2010. Despite a slow start, the 25-year-old had a strong season, hitting .284 with 19 home runs and 69 RBIs in 149 games.
“The first two months last year, ugh, it was frustrating. But it turned around, ” Jones said. “The last three, four months of the season I did me. I didn’t try to do too much.
“I think the other guys [in the lineup] with the added protection of [Derrek] Lee, [J.J.] Hardy, [Mark] Reynolds, [Luke] Scott, I think it will take a lot of pressure off. Personally I put a lot of pressure on myself, and if there’s any pressure [Nick] Markakis puts on himself, I don’t know if there is, but it will take some off.”
And Jones isn’t the only one that believes the new additions are a step in the right direction. Count fellow Major Leaguers Torii Hunter, Ken Griffey Jr., Ryan Braun and Andrew McCutchen as fans as well.
“They are all excited about our team,” Jones said of the group, whom he’s sharing the Nike spot with. “They’re like ‘You guys have made some real good moves for the first team in a few years.'”
“Griffey Jr. and Hunter were letting me know how good of a teammates Lee is and how he’s going to try, well not try, he’s going to change our team.”