Baltimore Orioles Avoid Arbitration, Agree to Deal with Adam Jones

Tony GiardinaCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2012

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24:  Adam Jones #10 of the Baltimore Orioles catches the ball in center field against the Detroit Tigers during a MLB game at Comerica Park on September 24, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Orioles won 6-5.  (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Dave Reginek/Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles agreed to a one-year deal with Adam Jones Tuesday night to avoid an arbitration hearing later this week. According to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli, the deal is worth a base salary of $6.15 million—with an extra $50,000 in performance bonuses for the upcoming season.

Jones is coming off of a career year where he hit .280 with 25 HR and 12 SB. The 26-year-old outfielder is an up-and-coming talent in the MLB. He will hit in the middle of a powerful lineup in Baltimore.

Though the issue of his salary for this season is over, the Orioles must now look to extend his contract further. He will be a free agent after the 2013 season, and by then he will be entering his prime.

However, Jones may not want to resign with a team that hasn't had a winning season in over a decade, and he may want to test the free-agent waters. If this is the case, and the Orioles may know it is, Jones could be a great trade piece for any team looking to win now—and could return multiple prospects for the struggling organization.

Regardless of who Jones is playing for at the end of this year, the Orioles will put up numbers on offense with Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters in the heart of the order.

Yet, the fact that they are in the toughest division in baseball means that another losing season is imminent. The Orioles need to start thinking about the future and whether Adam Jones is in their plans.