It’s no secret that the Baltimore Orioles are, uh, resetting. Over the past month they’ve had the big Manny Machado deal, and yesterday the team traded three more veterans: Jonathan Schoop, Darren O’Day, and Kevin Gausman. It might have been four, but Adam Jones, the longtime face of the club, decided he’d rather stay put.
Jones, 33 years old and a free agent after the season, invoked his 10-and-5 rights to block a rumored trade that would have sent him to the NL East-leading Phillies. You can imagine this might have pissed off some people in certain quarters of the Baltimore front office or fan base, what with him having prevented the club from clearing around $6 million in salary off its books and perhaps replacing it with controllable young prospects. But that is not Jones’s problem, and, God bless him, when the subject came up after last night’s loss to the Yankees, he was not in the mood to make anybody feel any better about it.
Via the Baltimore Sun:
“When players walked out years ago and walked the picket lines and stuff, they did that for reasons like this ... I earned this and it’s my decision. I don’t have to explain it to nobody. It’s my decision. Thank you.”
Hell fuckin’ yeah, buddy! Not many players get to earn those 10-and-5 rights, which reward players who’ve logged 10 years in the big leagues, and at least the five previous seasons on one club, with the right to veto any trade proposal that would send them away from that club. They’re no good if their use is inhibited by the preferences of general managers or owners or impatient fans. The whole point is to give veteran players some power in situations where their preferences might otherwise get steamrolled.
More from Jones, because these quotes are gold:
“I made the decision, you all didn’t. This is my decision, this is my life. I’m not going around dictating other people’s lives. So why do they do that with us? No one is going to tell me what to do. I earned every single bit of it. People before me fought vigorously, tirelessly to get rights like this. And I can invoke them.”
I’m doing jumpkicks around the room right now. Here he is on the double-standard too often applied to situations like his:
“It’s business. Trust me, there are guys that love playing in certain places, but the reality of it is that it’s business. So, if the team wants you they want you. If they don’t, they don’t.”
Adam Jones is the best.