The MLB trade deadline is at 4 PM this afternoon, and Baltimore Orioles fans have their eyes on Adam Jones. The center fielder’s contract of course is up after this season, and he’s a free agent. He also has the right to veto any trade due to his 10-and-5 rights. In essence, any player who’s been in the league for ten years and with the same team for five of those years can veto any trade.
And in a somewhat surprising move, Jones appears intent on invoking that de facto no trade clause so as to remain in Baltimore. It’s been stated time and time again that it at least outwardly appears that both parties are interested in Jones being an Oriole in 2019 and onward. GM Dan Duquette has been quoted as saying that he thinks Jones will be an Oriole after today.
This kind of comes across as a scenario in which both the Orioles and Jones could have their cake and eat it too. The Birds could trade Jones to a contender and get a couple of prospects back. Jones in turn would have a shot at competing for a ring. Then as a free agent after the season, he could re-sign with the Orioles. So is Jones doing a disservice to the organization and the fans by hanging on?
There are plenty of people who are going to look at it that way. But Jones is also wary of having to uproot his family, or spend more time away from them than he already does. Along with his wife and two kids, he lives in Baltimore and makes this his year-around home. He’s away from his family when the team’s on the road, but if he were traded he’d be away from them for the next two months plus.
Issues like that do make a difference. I would remind fans that Adam Jones has really been adopted by Baltimore as it’s own. Baltimore isn’t like New York or Los Angeles where mercenaries come, win them a title, and then sometimes depart. Baltimore really embraces it’s athletes, and Jones is a perfect example of that. Baltimore’s a part of who he is, and it’s helped him become the family man he is now.
I suppose I would say that yes in fact the organization could get better in the future if they had the liberty to deal Jones and get something back for him. And if he signs a new contract to remain here, it’s really no harm no foul, right? But you can’t begrudge Jones for not wanting to waive his 10-and-5 status for the reasons he’s publicly cited. As a father and husband, he has to follow his heart first.
The Orioles head to the Bronx tonight to open up a short two-game set with New York. Yefry Ramirez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Masahiro Tanaka. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.