A report surfaced earlier this week detailing a potential trade between the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun details a rumored deal that sends Adam Jones to the Braves in exchange for Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado and “a prospect.”
The increasingly nebulous nature of prospect aside, Jurrjens and Prado are a more than fair package for Jones; a talented outfielder with some holes in his game. At 26 Jones isn’t likely to get much better than he currently is and his next 3 WAR seasons marks his first.
Connolly claims the Orioles “wouldn’t bite” on the deal and they were roundly mocked. That is a decent haul for a league-average player heading into his arbitration years. What were the O’s thinking?!? Oh, wait. Maybe that too good to be true offer was just that: untrue.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 22, 2011
This report from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick flips the script, ever so slightly. Crasnick first tweets the Orioles and Braves did discuss Jones but the talks didn’t really get anywhere, for the reasons listed above.
A package including one of these players is wishful thinking indeed, as our newest contributor points out. As much as I’d like to scoff at the new O’s brain trust, I cannot fault them for trying. Why not ask for a high ceiling player in exchange? The Braves are dealing from a position of strength to address a glaring need.
A need that might just exist in the twisted mind of Frank Wren. What’s wrong with the centerfielder they acquired last season? Is Michael Bourne not, in nearly every way, better than Adam Jones? He doesn’t have the power but gets on base far more and is a superior fielder according to the advanced metrics. Jones is much younger and under team control for three years while Bourn is a free agent after 2012.
No matter if you believe Crasnick’s report over Connolly’s, the Orioles demands for Jones aren’t a reflection of his talent; they are simply an approximation of what the market may bear. In the mind of Dan Duquette, that is. A blue chip pitching prospect or a pre-arb whiff machine is too much to ask for Adam Jones. Aiming high for a potential return is only folly, not fault. Wait until somebody does overpay for Adam Jones before we start assigning blame.