Jones talks pending free agency at FanFest

'If I'm in a winning environment, I'll be happy,' O's center fielder says

January 28th, 2018

BALTIMORE -- Orioles center fielder has never been shy about sharing his opinions, and his appearance Saturday at Orioles FanFest was no different.

Jones gave fans a scare when he sent out a sarcastic tweet saying he "decided to back out" of FanFest because "something came up," but he indeed showed up to the event and answered questions on a wide variety of topics.

A five-time All-Star, Jones has been a fan favorite in Baltimore since his arrival in 2008. He's hit at least 25 home runs in every season since 2011, and he's entering the final year of his contract, along with teammates Manny Machado, Zach Britton and .

"We've all grown up," Jones said. "We're all adults now. Manny, he and [Bryce] Harper are obviously going to headline next offseason, so I just think it's a business. Different situations in previous years have been handled differently and I didn't see that. So, I just have to have a clear and open mind about the whole situation and not just make a rash decision. And now it's not just my decision, it's my family's decision. But most importantly, it's about winning, and anybody that knows me knows that. It's not about money, it's about winning and if I'm in a winning environment, I'll be happy."

When asked if he had begun negotiations on an extension with the Orioles, Jones replied, "They haven't come to talk to me, so go ask Mr. Duquette.

"The player is the guy who wants to just go out there and play, no matter what," Jones said. "As you've seen me, I just want to be in an environment like I've been in the last five years. It's been good. Last year, we tailed off at the end. But, the biggest thing for me is to be in a winning environment, and I know that's Zach's goal, that's Brach's goal, I know that's Manny's goal. It's not just about the money. The money is great. It's phenomenal when we are able to take care of our families, our extended families and so on.

"But, the individual and the competitiveness inside the individual wants to win. If I'm not in a winning environment -- you can throw a certain amount of money -- but it's going to take a lot just to tell me I'm going to lose. That's not how it works with me. You can't just say, 'Here's a lot of money just to lose.' I'm not going to compete and be selfish and go, 'Here, I'll take all this money, but I know it's going to debilitate every other area.' So that's part of it also, understanding the merits of the business."

Jones added that there "are still a lot of things left to be done" for the Orioles, who have a penchant for waiting to find value on the open market.

"Starting the first day of Spring Training, everybody is 0-0. And starting March 29 this year, everybody is 0-0. So, everybody has a chance. Obviously, you put pen and paper down, put names down, some teams look better than others, but not always that teams wins the World Series. So, I always give myself a chance."