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Jones on joining D-backs: 'I'm excited I'm here'

@SteveGilbertMLB
March 12, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Adam Jones was all smiles Tuesday as the D-backs' new outfielder met with the media at Salt River Fields. The 33-year-old was ready to move past an offseason in which he said he did not receive a single offer to play until the D-backs called with a

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Adam Jones was all smiles Tuesday as the D-backs' new outfielder met with the media at Salt River Fields.

The 33-year-old was ready to move past an offseason in which he said he did not receive a single offer to play until the D-backs called with a one-year, $3 million deal that includes $2 million in incentives.

“It feels great, to be honest with you, to come into a clubhouse again and don the team colors,” Jones said. “Just happy to have an opportunity to continue to play baseball. A lot of guys aren’t having it, so I’m just happy the situation worked out perfectly here. A lot of people are happy, excited I’m here. I’m excited I’m here.”

Jones hit .281/.313/.419 in 145 games for the Orioles last season, and the five-time All-Star has batted .278/.318/.456 in 13 Major League seasons.

Still, Jones said, the phone was quiet throughout the offseason, with only the Marlins expressing interest outside of the D-backs.

Jones, who makes his home in San Diego, is familiar with the Phoenix area because his mom has a home here.

In fact, Jones has been in the Phoenix area for the last few weeks running Camelback Mountain to stay in shape while hitting at Grand Canyon University.

“A lot of them went through that general soreness of the first 10 days, the hell week that happens,” Jones said of his new teammates. “I haven’t been able to do that, but I’ve been able to keep myself in really good shape. But that’s what Spring Training is for. I’m going to be here, I’m going to get all my reps, all my work on the backfields and try to just be ready for Opening Day as much as I can. I’m in shape, I just need the at-bats and see the balls off the bat and I’ll just do the power shagging that pitchers do and try to get on the backfields and get as many at-bats as I can.”

As for where Jones is going to play, that seems a little less clear.

Ketel Marte had seemed slated to see the most time in center field after moving from second base, but he’s also the team’s primary backup at shortstop and will see time at second as well.

Jones will see time at all three outfield positions, giving manager Torey Lovullo the flexibility to sit Marte, second baseman Wilmer Flores, shortstop Nick Ahmed or corner outfielders David Peralta and Steven Souza Jr. against unfavorable pitching matchups.

“I’m not necessarily looking at total games played at each spot,” Lovullo said. “It’s that particular matchup on that day. Ketel’s versatility is going to allow somebody to get into the game who could be a hired sniper or could be somebody who is going to go out there and have a great game because of the matchup.”

The D-backs are also counting on Jones to supply leadership off the field, something he has been known for throughout his long big league career.

“I think I can help the position players and the pitchers, just with a mindset of positivity, of perseverance, of grinding it out,” Jones said. “We are going to go through body aches, soreness, pains and all that sort of stuff. But posting, being ready, being on the top step for your teammate, all the little things. Not everybody is going to hit a three-run home run, but the little things I think I can help with and always pushing the guy next to you, pushing your teammates. That’s how you become a successful team and franchise.”

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.