The Baltimore Orioles have purged their roster this season but should they look to keep Adam Jones on the 2019 roster?
Adam Jones is a longtime fan favorite among Baltimore Orioles faithful and was an integral part of the 2012 and 2014 playoff teams. He is often praised for his character, leadership, and hustle. This is evident in his actions on the field and his community work off the field. He is the longest-tenured Oriole, currently finishing up his eleventh season with the O’s.
Fans have taken blow after blow this season. It started with record-setting levels of bad play. Then, the trade deadline picked up and after the smoke had cleared, fan favorites Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Kevin Gausman, Zach Britton, Darren O’Day, and Brad Brach were all gone. While these were necessary moves, many fans are hurt by the fact that the roster is so unrecognizable. For a lot of fans, this core was the only Orioles team they ever saw win.
Since the trade deadline, the current Orioles lineup has lacked name recognition. Outside of Adam Jones, the only recognizable names are Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo, and Trey Mancini. Davis has reached a new level of infamy in Baltimore and Trumbo has disappointed offensively. Luckily, Cedric Mullins is quickly becoming popular among Orioles fans, but he’ll need more time to establish himself before becoming a true fan favorite. Remember, he’s only played 20 games.
Why keeping Adam Jones is a good idea.
Normally, I would advise against signing a player “to put fannies in the seats”. But that comes from the perspective of a team whose main focus is to win games. The Orioles aren’t competitive right now and won’t be for at least a couple of years. Looking back from 1998 to now, a 21 season stretch, the O’s have only had winning seasons in four of those years. They finished at .500 in one other. From 1998-2011, the O’s had 14 consecutive losing seasons. This is troublesome for a small to mid-market revenue team that needs to rebuild their fan base.
Because Baseball is ultimately a business, teams need to create revenue. Every major league team needs fans to attend games and purchase merchandise. That’s why teams should invest in fan interest. The higher that fan interest is, the more revenue it creates for the team. This makes it an easier decision to go out and get big money free agents, or maybe keep their own the next time around.
The 33-year-old outfielder has had a decent season, offensively, showing improvements in a few key statistical categories. He has slashed his strikeout rate from nearly 18% to 15%. His batting average (.286) is the highest it’s been since 2012 (.287) and his .319 OBP is his second-highest mark over the past six seasons. Jones has already moved from center field, giving way to rookie Cedric Mullins, and isn’t blocking any prospects in the minors. If Adam Jones wants to return, the Baltimore Orioles should re-sign him.