Since Cal Ripken retired in 2001, the fans in Baltimore have lacked the player who would have them excited to come to Camden Yards. Sure, there were players such as Joe Carter, Albert Belle, and Vladmir Guerrero who signed contracts, however, by the time these guys arrived, they were well out of their prime. Orioles fans desired for the team to get younger. When they would get younger guys, these guys did not deliver until after their departure from Baltimore. Jose Bautista went to Toronto and became a MVP candidate. There were even some Baltimore natives who were signed by other teams and went on to have successful careers. Mark Teixeira the most notable, had an all-star career for the Texas Rangers. When he became a free agent, Teixeira declined the offer from the Orioles and went to the rival New York Yankees. Each time he visits Baltimore, fans remind him that they have not forgot about that decision.
Prior to the 2008 season, the Orioles traded their ace pitcher Erik Bedard for George Sherill, Chris Tilman, and up and coming center fielder Adam Jones. Many questioned this trade as Bedard was one of the best pitchers in baseball with 18 wins, while Jones Tilman and Sherill had not proved themselves yet.
Jones began his career with the Orioles playing solid ball. He became the second player to hit a triple and a grand slam home run in Yankee stadium as a visitor. He finished the season batting .270 with 9 home runs and 57 RBIs.
2009 proved to be the year that the Jones was a franchise player in the making. He won his first career gold glove along with making his first All-Star game appearance.
In 2011, Jones continued to prove himself as a franchise player as he set career records with home runs (25) and RBIs (83).
As the 2012 season approach, Jones stated that he wanted to play for a winning team. Fans in Baltimore knew that since the arrival of Buck Showalter as manager, a winning team was not far away. However if the Orioles were going to have a winning team, they would need to keep guys such as Jones, Matt Weiters, and Nick Markakis. With Jones contract talks up in the air, it would be very important for them to get this deal done soon. Jones expressed his desire for a long term deal with his bat. He is tied for third in the American League with 14 home runs along with a .309 batting average and 31 RBIs. Jones is currently on pace for 48 homeruns, two short of Brady Anderson’s franchise record in 1996 of 50.
On Friday May 25, Orioles front office stated that they were closing in on a deal to keep Jones in Baltimore. They are expected to hold a press conference announcing the details of the deal. Jones is expected to be under contract with the Orioles through 2018, with a total of $85.5 million. This will make him the second highest center fielder behind 2011 MVP Runner up Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This will be the largest deal in Oriole history.