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Jones praises Orioles for smart spending

Center fielder expresses delight in core staying together after conversation with ownership
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles center fielder Adam Jones made it clear before last season ended that he was hoping to sit down with principal owner Peter Angelos to discuss the importance of keeping the core of the team together.

"You see the result of that," Jones said from the Orioles' clubhouse on Wednesday.

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles center fielder Adam Jones made it clear before last season ended that he was hoping to sit down with principal owner Peter Angelos to discuss the importance of keeping the core of the team together.

"You see the result of that," Jones said from the Orioles' clubhouse on Wednesday.

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"All you can do is ask, man," Jones said. "As a player, you want what you want. Trust me, there are tons of guys I want on my team. I love every guy on my team now. … Everybody always wants more and more. It's human nature. You want more. But my message to the front office was to keep the core intact.

"We have a good core. ... I think fans need to understand, you just can't go out and sign anybody you want. First and foremost, they have to play for [manager] Buck Showalter. That ain't an easy guy to play for, so you don't know who you're getting. If you get a different type of player, Showalter might ship him on out. It's a process."

The Orioles' ability to keep their core players while adding strategic pieces is of particular importance to Jones.

"First of all, I'm glad we got [Darren] O'Day and [Chris] Davis back," Jones said. "Those were the two most important guys. I don't know about Gallardo [whose MRI raised questions before the O's signed him to a two-year deal Thursday]."

Video: O'Day confident Showalter, veterans will propel O's

Jones would have benefited from Dexter Fowler's arrival as the team's right fielder after a season of a revolving door in both corner outfield spots, but that's no longer the case as Fowler signed a one-year deal with the Cubs on Thursday.

"To me, it's not about having someone who can go get the ball. It's about having someone being there every day," Jones said. "Last year, it was frustrating but understandable.

"It just changed. It was a tough adjustment, but it was an adjustment I had to make. It's not like the game is going to slow down or stop because I don't have Nick Markakis next to me in right field."

Jones denied that having that lack of stability last season forced him to cover more ground and play a little more banged up, noting that he's hit many walls with Markakis next to him. But Showalter said there's some truth to that.

"You could make a case for that," Showalter said. "I think it was more playing with a lot of guys, the unfamiliarity thing, there were a lot of different people out there at the same time. I don't think anything, or anybody, is going to change the way Adam's going to play center field. I thought he had as good a glove year, challenging year, as he's ever had.

"I think sometimes guys get spoiled expecting him to catch everything. I see him back there, he's working real hard with his shoulder, making sure that's not going to be an issue. That was from diving."

While hard-nosed Jones won't stop that, he seems OK with getting a little more rest. Upon hearing that Showalter won't let him or Manny Machado play all 162 games, Jones smiled and said he's fine with it.

"Manny did it last year, I did it in 2012. I think it's a terrific accomplishment," Jones said, before joking. "Cal Ripken, you son of a [gun]. I don't know how you did it. I don't care how you did it."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones