Saturday, January 7, 2012

Trading Adam Jones makes sense, at the right price

The Orioles may be trying to trade Adam Jones. Their asking price is apparently pretty high, though according to FanGraphs' Dave Cameron, that's exactly as it should be:
Unfortunately for the Braves, Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado aren’t exactly upside plays. They’re both useful pieces who could help a contender by filling in a gap here or there, but neither offer the hope of becoming much more than what they already are. They’re finished products, or something close to it at least. Jones is an untapped well whose performances up to this point show a glimmer of what he could become if he continues to develop.

Given the Orioles present circumstances, that’s exactly the kind of player they need. Two useful players with limited potential aren’t going to make them winners. They need stars to build around, and while Jones isn’t one yet, he very well could become one. If the Orioles are going to part with not only his present value but the hope of what he could become, a potential buyer will need to compensate them for surrendering that unrealized potential.

You can’t judge Adam Jones’ value to the Orioles by what he’s been to date. His value is based on what he could be, and what he could be is worth a lot more than Martin Prado and Jair Jurrjens.
Rob Neyer of SB Nation also weighed in on the topic yesterday:
There's been a great deal of talk this winter about Adam Jones becoming an Atlanta Brave. Names have been floated and everything. Jair Jurrjens. Martín Prado. Pretty good players, already. For his part, Prado's just two years older than Jones, has better career statistics, and is more versatile.

Still, the Orioles -- and new general manager Dan Duquette -- have reportedly spurned such a package. . . . I like Jurrjens, but he's managed only 43 starts in the last two seasons. I like Prado, but he's two years older than Jones. I think if the Orioles are going to trade the guy, they should get someone like ... well, someone like Adam Jones was, four years ago.
I'm not sure if all O's fans feel the same way; some have become rather attached to Jones and would be upset to see him go. I enjoy watching Jones play, but if the O's aren't asking for the moon and get offered the right package of players, there's nothing wrong with moving him. Most fans didn't want the O's to part with Brian Roberts or Luke Scott either, and look how both of those decisions turned out.

The bubble-blowing, the knack for making web gems, his humorous Twitter account -- all of these things make it exciting to have Jones on the O's. But no player is untradable -- especially for an organization that desperately needs as many high-ceiling young players as possible. At 26, Jones may still transform into a star. Unfortunately, he was supposed to be that guy by now.