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MODEST PROPOSAL
March 26, 2012
For the Orioles, 2012 begins with considerably less optimism than did '11, which ended with 90 losses for the sixth straight year. Baltimore has to return to focus on a team built around Matt Wieters, shortstop prospect Manny Machado and righthander Dylan Bundy (its 2011 first round pick) that can contend in '15 or '16. To that end, it may be time to move some current contributors, particularly Adam Jones. The centerfielder, 26, is a free agent after '13, and his durability, premium position and good counting stats will set him up for a big payday. But he may not be worth a long-term investment. Jones has not matured as a hitter—his 113/29 K/BB ratio in '11 barely budged from his 108/23 in '08, his first full season. He doesn't apply his speed; Jones has just 44 steals and a 69% success rate. And his defense has rated below average the last three seasons. Trading veterans is about leveraging the gap between perceived and actual value, and few players have a larger gap than Jones. He can bring back a building block more likely to contribute, at a good price, to that '15 contender.
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March 26, 2012

Modest Proposal

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For the Orioles, 2012 begins with considerably less optimism than did '11, which ended with 90 losses for the sixth straight year. Baltimore has to return to focus on a team built around Matt Wieters, shortstop prospect Manny Machado and righthander Dylan Bundy (its 2011 first round pick) that can contend in '15 or '16. To that end, it may be time to move some current contributors, particularly Adam Jones. The centerfielder, 26, is a free agent after '13, and his durability, premium position and good counting stats will set him up for a big payday. But he may not be worth a long-term investment. Jones has not matured as a hitter—his 113/29 K/BB ratio in '11 barely budged from his 108/23 in '08, his first full season. He doesn't apply his speed; Jones has just 44 steals and a 69% success rate. And his defense has rated below average the last three seasons. Trading veterans is about leveraging the gap between perceived and actual value, and few players have a larger gap than Jones. He can bring back a building block more likely to contribute, at a good price, to that '15 contender.

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