Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones is having a good season. He’s hitting a respectable .278 with 33 RBIs, and ten home runs in 88 games played this season. They aren’t mind-blowing numbers, but they are good numbers. Next to Manny Machado, he is the best offensive player the Orioles have.
Like Machado, he is on the trade block. There is a good chance the Orioles will try to move him before the trade deadline passes. He may not be the guy that is going to win the big game (like Machado), but he is not the guy that is going to lose it for you either.
For a team in the hunt or the playoffs, that can be almost as good. But any team that trades for him will need to understand one thing—he’s probably just a rental.
In a recent interview, Jones sounded open to the idea of being traded. But then he made it seem like if he did get traded, he would probably not remain with whoever he gets traded to but would return to Baltimore.
“I think the best scenario is what the Yankees did with [Aroldis] Chapman: trade him away, get great pieces and then re-sign him.”
The Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs prior to the 2016 trade deadline. The Cubs acquired a much-needed closer, and the Yankees received some valuable prospects (including Gleyber Torres). When the season ended, Chapman ended up resigning with the Yankees.
That makes it sound like trading him would be a great idea for the Orioles. Let him play the remainder of the season with a contender, pick up some young talent, and then welcome Jones back in the offseason. It sounds like a win-win for Baltimore.
But it probably will not be now— since Jones couldn’t keep his mouth shut.
Jones is a good player, but he’s not a great one. He does have value but not so much that he’s worth more than a couple of prospects. But if a team knows it has no chance of resigning him, he’s not worth a couple of prospects—or at least not great ones.
His comments likely made it harder for the Orioles to get much in return for him. If they can’t get much, then why bother trading him at all?
Chances are his comments were just something he made in the moment and nothing nefarious. It’s unlikely he was trying to sabotage his trade value. Besides, he can veto any trades the Orioles try to make involving him anyway.
He doesn’t need to play dirty.