FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi are reporting on Twitter that the Baltimore Orioles are close to inking outfielder Adam Jones to a long-term deal. While the terms of the deal are not known, Rosenthal believes that they will be "well north" of the free agent deal Miguel Tejada (6 years, $72 million) and Nick Markakis (6 years, $66.1 million) signed.
Jones is earning $6.15 million this year and has another year of arbitration available before becoming a free agent in 2013.
Jones is in the midst of a career year, hitting .311/.357/.958 with 14 home runs in 196 plate appearances. Before this season, his best year was arguably 2009 when he hit 19 bombs and had an OPS of .792. That year, he had a slash line of .344/.398/1.005 with 11 home runs through the first two months of the season, but he hit just .229 the rest of the season.
I don't think there's any doubt that Jones is a guy the Orioles want to lock up long-term, but it's likely Jones' recent hot start is hurrying the O's into an investment of a player who may never materialize into a star like his early numbers might indicate. Solid player and fun to watch, but not a star. We'll obviously know more once the deal is done, and it is close.