So, we know by now that Adam Jones is not a Super Two this year, and as a result, the Orioles are going to save millions of dollars on him. Daniel Moroz over at Camden Crazies analyzes the Doctor's 2009 production and makes some rough estimates of his future salaries. He concludes by suggesting that the Orioles offer Adam a long-term deal during this offseason, rather than waiting until he's arbitration-eligible next year. He points out that this could be very fair to both sides, as Adam could get a bit more money in 2010 while the club saves a bit in the long term. He suggests something like 5 years, $40 million, which takes care of his first year of free agency.
Will this be Dr. Jones this winter? Image via cache.daylife.com
I think it's a good idea. The whole organization seems committed to Jones as the center fielder of the club for the next several years, and I see no reason to doubt that he will continue to improve. Not only does it seem to be win-win for both sides, but I think it's good to show the same commitment to Adam that they've shown Brian and Nick. If there's any sort of line for that kind of thing, he's definitely next; Guthrie and Scott may not fit into the plan, and there's no reason to commit that much to a bullpen arm. I also think that doing a deal now rather than next year might save the club that much more money, because the national recognition Adam has started to get (All-Star, Gold Glove) and the possibility that he improves even more in 2010 could feasibly get him even more than Daniel suggests. As far as I can tell, the only big arguments against a long-term deal would be that he seems a bit injury-prone so far and that his defense wasn't as good this year as last. However, the injuries he's had so far have been largely short-term or bad luck, and I don't think he was as bad defensively as UZR suggests.
So, what do you think? Lock up the good Doctor now, or wait and see how things play out over the next year?