Just prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones elected not to be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s unclear if he actually had to invoke his 10-and-5 rights or it was just understood that he planned to, but despite reportedly appreciating interest shown by the Phillies, he chose not to be traded to the National League contenders. Part of that appeared to be that he wasn’t all that interested in leaving Baltimore, where he has played since 2008. Perhaps another part was the Phillies weren’t willing to guarantee him that he would play every day.
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, while the Phillies planned to start Jones in a majority of their games if they acquired him, he wasn’t going to altogether push Nick Williams into being a fourth outfielder:
Jones is said to have had the opportunity to talk to Phillies executives, including either president Andy MacPhail or GM Matt Klentak, or both (both of whom Jones knew from their days with the Orioles; MacPhail made the great trade that brought him from Seattle), but word is their plan was to play him about four days a week. He’d share a right-field platoon with Nick Williams, a left-handed hitter who’s hit righties better than lefties, and occasionally play center for them.
A friend of Jones suggested among the reasons Jones preferred to stay in Baltimore than go to Philadelphia included family, friends, fans and his charity, and that’s certainly a big part of the picture, if not all of it. It isn’t known if a part-time role might have weighed on Jones, as well, and he hasn’t said.
Though Heyman noted that the Phillies would have “occasionally” played Jones in his natural position of center field, a bulk of his starts would have come in right field. Even if an eventual move to right field seems inevitable given Jones’ declining defensive metrics, it’s fair for a five-time All-Star not to jump at the idea of playing slightly more than part time at a different position than he traditionally has.
Hindsight is 20/20, but given that Odubel Herrera is hitting just .190 in August, there may have been more opportunities for Jones to play center field than the Phillies initially anticipated. Roman Quinn has started in center field in consecutive games and three of the Phillies last six games. Of course, a hot streak could be right around the corner for Herrera, and when he’s hot, he’s not coming out of the lineup.
In the end, despite the Orioles being 50.5 games out of the American League East lead, it appears Jones would have needed a perfect situation to leave Baltimore. Between Philadelphia not being Baltimore and his potential role not being what he’s accustomed to, it’s evident Philadelphia wasn’t a perfect situation in the mind of Jones.
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