A long-tenured center fielder known throughout the whole league, Adam Jones is still looking for a new home as a free agent. In 2018, Jones played his tenth consecutive season on the Baltimore Orioles, and he was a franchise mainstay while there, racking up four Gold Glove awards, five All-Star Game nods, one Silver Slugger award and countless MVP votes during his prime.
While he is not washed up in any sense, Jones seems to have lost a bit of a step covering center field, making him less of a defensive threat than what he used to be.
Offensively, Jones is still a force to be reckoned with at the dish, slashing a line of .281/.313/.419 in 2018 with Baltimore. While those numbers are world beaters, he still remains a solid option at the plate for any team.
However, Jones had his lowest home run and RBI totals since his first season in Baltimore, 2008, knocking 15 over the wall and driving in 63 runs. These numbers are solid contributing numbers, but not necessarily those of someone who should be counted on to put up big-time, franchise-leading numbers.
Many teams still having outfielder issues that they need to be solved, and Jones would do just that. Here are three teams that should bring Jones in for the 2019 campaign.
After having lost A.J. Pollock to the Los Angeles Dodgers in free agency, the Arizona Diamondbacks are in need of a solid and producing center fielder. Enter in Jones.
The Arizona center field is massive, and the stadium could present some challenges, especially for a guy who is used to playing his home games at Camden Yards. However, Jones still has the skills and acumen to account for any inexperience at their park and would slide in nicely to man the center field spot.
He would be counted on to produce around 20 home runs and 70 RBIs in 2019, which is not far off his 2018 numbers on an awful team. While Arizona did lose Paul Goldschmidt through a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals, Jones and others would be asked to step up and make up for some of his lost potential.
Jones is also a good clubhouse guy who has experienced too much losing in his career. The Diamondbacks, even with having traded their cornerstone away, do have the necessary pieces to remain competitive and compete for the National League West divisional title, which seems to always be up in the air, year in year out.
If he were to sign with Arizona, Adam Jones would be a valuable piece that would truly benefit the Diamondbacks in a time that their fan base may need something to cheer for.
Even though they will not be competitive this season, the Detroit Tigers would be an ideal landing spot for Jones if he was looking to play out the remainder of his career and retire within two to three seasons. While he is only 32, Jones may decide to hang up the cleats when he is 35 or 36, and Detroit would be a good place to do that.
While the threat of being traded would be constantly over his head as well due to the Tigers being sellers at many more deadlines, Jones would be a good fit for this team, especially if they were to pull the trigger on trading right field slugger Nicholas Castellanos.
Adam Jones would be able to slide right into the center field position for Detroit and contribute from day one, bringing a needed boost to the Tigers franchise. While on the older side and not in the normal age range for a rebuilding team, Jones would bring a sense of veteran leadership to the clubhouse, something that could immensely benefit the team.
Again, this move would be more for Jones to coast off into the sunset, and if he signed, he may have an agreement with the front office saying that any trade would need to be approved by Jones before happening, which would be a savvy move by the veteran and a classy gesture made by the franchise. This move could be seen as lateral for Jones, as he would be going from a disappointing team in Baltimore to a disappointing team in Detroit, but it would still be a change of scenery and franchises for Jones.
While Detroit would get better with this deal, they would not be hindering their youthful development, as Jones would be able to show any rookies the ropes of what being an everyday MLB-er is like while still helping the team win games occasionally.
The final NL team included in this list is the San Francisco Giants, who could look to Jones as their replacement for Andrew McCutchen after he was shipped off to the New York Yankees. Jones is quite similar to McCutchen but has seen both his offensive and defensive performance and numbers tail off in the past three seasons.
If Jones were to go to the Bay Area, he would join a team that was stuck somewhat in between competing and rebuilding last season, ultimately going with the latter around the time of the trade deadline. Outside of fellow outfielder Hunter Pence, starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner and backstop Buster Posey, Jones would be one of the few experienced and respected veteran members of the team.
This could be seen as a way to extract some more value out of Jones and potentially get him traded to a contending team come July, as he is searching for his first taste of the playoffs since the 2016 AL Wild Card, in which Baltimore dropped the lone game to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Adam Jones still has something left to give to any franchise that would be willing to take a chance on him, so he just needs to find the right place for him. While it could still be in the works for a reunion with the Orioles, it seems more likely that Jones will be taking his talents elsewhere to try and make a return back to the playoffs.