Adam Jones is officially the owner of the largest contract in Orioles history and is the second-highest-paid center fielder in the big leagues.
Jones agreed to a six-year, $85.5 million contract extension Saturday, which will keep him in an Orioles uniform through 2018.
According to an industry source, the contract has performance escalators that could make it worth $91.5 million total. The annual average value will be $14.25 million – also a team record.
Jones, who is making $6.15 million this season, will receive a $2 million signing bonus now. He then will receive: $8.5 million in 2013 (which would have been his final year of arbitration); $13 million in 2014 and 2015; $16 million in 2016 and 2017; and $17 million in 2018.
There is no option for 2019 in the contract.
There is a no-trade provision included, though specifics are not known.
The Orioles have scheduled a news conference tomorrow, where Jones and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette will speak.
Jones becomes the second-highest-paid center fielder in baseball, behind the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, last year’s National League Most Valuable Player runner-up who signed an eight-year, $160 million extension in November. The Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton currently makes $12 million, though he will be a free agent at season’s end.
The Oakland Athletic' Yoenis Cespedes makes $9 million, and the Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen makes $8.58 million and has the third largest deal overall for a center fielder at $51.5 million for six years, signed in March.
Jones’ deal shatters the previous Orioles record for a contract: the six-year, $72 million deal given to shortstop Miguel Tejada before the 2004 season. It’s also worth more annually than Albert Belle’s record $15 million annual salary (five-year, $65 million deal before the 1999 season) and eclipses Nick Markakis’ record extension of six years and $66.1 million in 2009.
The 26-year-old center fielder is among the league leaders in seven batting categories, including home runs, RBIs, and slugging percentage. He is a one-time Gold Glove winner and All-Star.
The Orioles acquired Jones and four others in 2008 as part of the deal that sent Erik Bedard to the Seattle Mariners.
Duquette and Jones’ agent, Nez Balelo of CAA, had been working closely on the deal for several days. Since the end of the 2011 season, 18 contracts of $50 million or more have been signed, five of those by CAA clients. No other agency has more than two such deals.
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