Adam Jones signing with Orix Buffaloes of NPB
By Joe Trezza | @JoeTrezz
December 10, 2019
SAN DIEGO -- One of the most iconic Orioles of the past decade is heading overseas. After waiting around until March for a free-agent contract last winter (eventually signing a one-year, $3 million deal with the D-backs), Adam Jones agreed Tuesday to a two-year, $8 million contract with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball Organization.
The deal comes with a club option for 2022 and could be worth as much as $15.5 million if Jones reaches all his incentives, a source told MLB.com. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal first reported the financial details of the agreement, which Jones announced across his social media platforms.
"Well it's that time in my career and life my family and I had to make a HUGE decision, and so that is what we have done!!!" Jones wrote on Twitter and Instagram. "MLB has been amazing to myself and my family. We had an incredible run from the day I signed in 2003 to my final AB last year. It's been the greatest 12 years and 139 days a person could ask for! The game has provided me an incredible living and has borne many fruits and hardware throughout the years. A lot to be proud of, that's for sure."
One of the biggest stars to ever decide to play overseas, Jones made five All-Star teams and won four Gold Gloves during his 11-season stint with the Orioles (2008-18). He immediately becomes one of the most notable MLB players to ever head to Asia, along with Kevin Youkilis (Japan) and Manny Ramirez (Taiwan), who both made the move at the end of memorable careers stateside.
Jones, 34, hit .260 with 16 homers and a .728 OPS for the D-backs last season. The rebuilding Orioles had not expressed interest in a reunion with Jones either this winter or last, according to multiple sources.
All told, Jones owns a career slash line of .277/.317/.454 with 282 homers across 14 MLB seasons with the Mariners, Orioles and D-backs.
It is worth noting the NPB schedule features an Olympic break so Jones, who played a key role in the United States' World Baseball Classic championship in 2017, can play for Team USA in 2020 if it qualifies.