Adam Jones is about to cash in on his rise. The Orioles outfielder is reportedly on the verge of signing the most lucrative contract in team history.
The deal is reportedly for six years and between $80 million and $90 million, eclipsing Miguel Tejada's six-year, $72 million contract from 2003 for the club record. It would also surpass Nick Markakis' record extension of a six-year, $66.1 million.
With the Orioles sitting at 29-17 — the top record in the American League East — Jones has certainly earned the raise. Through 45 games, he's unloaded 14 homers and 31 RBIs and is batting .310.
At this point in the season, no one predicted this much success for Baltimore. For years, they were the cellar dwellers in the AL East, but they've had a hot start this year — much of it due to Jones.
He's sparked the Orioles with a .353 on-base percentage and .594 slugging percentage and is currently enjoying a 17-game hitting streak. As a result of his success, Jones is poised for an All-Star campaign — if not a starting spot in the American League center field.
That's why it's the right move for the Orioles to lock him up. Jones is only 26 years old and finally living up to the projections given when he was selected in the first round of the 2003 MLB Draft by the Mariners.
Jones is building on his triumph from the 2011 season, when he belted a career-high 25 home runs while driving in 83 RBIs. The outfielder has also displayed defensive prowess, receiving a Gold Glove in 2009.
If the Orioles don't extend him, Jones could be free to walk after the 2013 season. In that scenario, there's a high probability that he could bolt Baltimore altogether.
But at 26, Jones is only heading into the prime of his career. And it makes sense for the Orioles — yes, the first-place Orioles — to ink him to a longer deal.