There is a rumor gaining momentum in Baltimore that the Cardinals are working on a deal with the Orioles that centers on centerfielder Adam Jones.
Jones, 25, hit .280 with 25 homers last season for the Orioles. He's shown an exciting amount of talent. But Jones is sort of a raw player. While his numbers show him to be productive at the plate, his .318 on base percentage -- or more specifically the fact that he walked only 29 times while striking out 113 times in 618 plate appearances -- indicate that discipline isn't a strength.
Still, Jones would be a nice fit because with Carlos Beltran, Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday in the middle of the batting order, he wouldn't have the be a cornerstone of the offense. He could grow as a complimentary player. Hopefully, he'll turn out to be a Jim Edmonds type centerfielder.
No word on what the Cardinals would have to give up to get Jones. I am guessing that Jon Jay would be a part of the deal. The Redbirds wouldn't have a lot of use for Jay as more than a fifth outfielder if Jones was on board. And he's probably at the top of his value after a strong performance in 2011. Of course Jay wouldn't be the centerpiece of the deal. I'm guessing that would be pitching. And I'm pretty sure that swapping Jake Westbrook for a rising everyday player isn't something the Orioles are interested in doing.
I wonder, if the Cardinals were forced to include him to make the deal happen, if they would entertain the possibility of including Jaime Garcia in a swap. I'm not saying that I am advocating such a move. I'm just thinking out loud about what it would take to pry Jones out of Baltimore. Garcia is signed to a very affordable $3.25 million for 2012. But his contract jumps up to $5.75 million in 2013, $7.75 in 2014 and $9.25 million in 2015.
Obviously, I would rather see the Cardinals swap Jay, Mitchell Boggs and Kyle McClellan for Jones... But I don't know if that's going to get it done.
Jones made $3.25 million with Baltimore last season and is arbitration eligible. He'll likely get a sizable raise.