Baltimore Orioles: Reflecting on the Adam Jones trade ten years later
By Brian Pinter
On this date, ten years ago, the Baltimore Orioles completed a trade of blockbuster proportions. Ten years later, one of the leading pieces of the deal still wears orange and black.
It’s hard to imagine that the blockbuster deal that brought Adam Jones to the Baltimore Orioles took place a decade ago. It’s easy to see though, how Adam Jones – ten years later – was the centerpiece of that trade.
On February 8, 2008, the Seattle Mariners sent Adam Jones, Kam Mickolio, George Sherrill, Tony Butler and Chris Tillman to the Orioles, in exchange for pitcher Erik Bedard.
Mickolio spent four seasons in the majors – three with the Orioles. He had 4.83 in 29 career appearances. Sherrill was an All-Star in his first season in Baltimore, notching 31-of-37 saves, but was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009 and never regained his All-Star form. Butler never made it out of the minor leagues. His last appearances came in 2014 with the Rockford Aviators in the Independent League. Tillman is currently a free-agent, after having a very rough 2017 season. He was the Orioles most dependable starter from 2013-2016, going 56-30 in 128 starts, with an ERA of 3.91.
And then, there’s Adam Jones.
Early years with Seattle and over to Baltimore
In 2003, the Mariners chose Adam Jones in the first-round of the MLB Amateur Draft. That same draft brought former Orioles, Delmon Young – drafted by the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays – and Nick Markakis to the majors.
Before the trade in 2008, Jones did have some playing time in Seattle. Spanning the 2006 and 2007 seasons, Jones appeared in 73 games. In 2007, he appeared in 26 games in left field, seven games in center and six games in right field. That was the only season he ever found himself positioned in either of the corner outfield spots.
The production wasn’t necessarily there for Jones in the early part of his career. He only hit three home runs with the Mariners, six doubles and slashed a weak .230/.267/.353. Therefore, the Mariners could justify the easy decision to part ways with the former first-round pick out of Samuel F.B. Morse High School.
Here’s an interesting side note, Samuel F.B. Morse High School, located in San Diego, California, has housed another former first-round pick. Sam Horn, drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1982, played eight seasons in the majors. He spent three seasons with the Orioles, from 1990 to 1992.
In Jones’ first two seasons with the Orioles though, he appeared in 251 games and hit .274 over 1,033 plate appearances. He made eight errors in 706 chances in centerfield and led the American League with 16 Total Zone Runs as a Centerfielder in 2008.
Becoming the face of a franchise
Over his career with the Orioles, Jones has appeared in1,468 games. That’s good enough for tenth on the all-time list for the O’s. He’s a five-time All-Star – making the team four years straight from 2012 to 2016. He’s a four-time Gold Glove winner, and he’s finished 14th, 13th and as high as 6th in MVP voting.
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In 2011, Jones started a stretch of seven straight seasons of hitting 25 or more home runs and has been a .279 hitter since the start of that year. Among active players, he leads the American League in Putouts as a Centerfield (3,725), Assists as a Centerfielder (93), Fewest Errors com
Furthermore, an all-time list for the Orioles ranks Adam fifth in hits (1,618), ninth in doubles (270), fifth in home runs (248), and seventh in RBI’s (803).
Jones hits it out-of-the-park off the field
Adam Jones isn’t just a stand-up guy on the field at Camden Yards. He knocks it out of the park each year with his Stay Hungry Tailgate.
The tailgate – which raises money for the Boys and Girls Club of Baltimore – has brought in musicians, former Orioles players and even Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (in years prior), and is all headed by a social media group named BMORE Around Town.
Partnering with BMORE Around Town, last year Jones and the tailgate were able to raise over $100,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Baltimore. An outstanding number of donations and about double of what it brought in the year prior.
In addition to his tailgate, Jones was presented with the Babe Ruth Museum Community Service Award in 2014. Also, he was awarded the Marvin Miller Award for outstanding work in his community, in 2015.
In conclusion, with Jones contributions on and off the field, he’s become a staple to the fans at the ballpark and the kids around the community.
Next: Baltimore Orioles: The projections have been released for 2018
Adam Jones will be a free-agent at the end of this season. It’s unfortunate that the organization has not approached him to discuss an extension yet. As a result, Jones will be able to test the free-agent waters if there are no discussions. However, don’t let that distract you from the fact that Jones plans on having his best season yet. #StayHungry