Jones: Re-signing Davis, O'Day priority for O's
Center fielder confident club will be competitive in tough AL East
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- Adam Jones, the heart and soul of the Orioles, has watched one marquee player after another sign with the Red Sox and Yankees over the course of his career. Ace David Price going to Boston is the latest.
But this type of thing never fazes him.
Jones, who is in the Dominican Republic this weekend for Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz's charity event, remains as enthusiastic as ever about his Orioles and their chances of making it to the postseason for the third time in five seasons.
"At the end of the day, I don't really care what any other team does. We're going to be competitive," said Jones. "That's the one thing. With [manager] Buck [Showalter], myself, [executive vice president] Dan [Duquette] and this franchise -- we're going to be competitive."
That said, Jones is keeping a close eye on what the front office is doing. He is glad that Matt Wieters is back and that Mark Trumbo was acquired in a trade with the Mariners. But he badly wants free agents Chris Davis and Darren O'Day to return to the O's.
"So far it's been a solid offseason for us. I think, obviously, our main focus for us is CD and O'Day," said Jones. "We've got Wieters back. I think CD and O'Day are the top options and the top priority right now. I think that Showalter and [chairman/CEO Peter] Angelos, and Dan, I think they're really going to make an aggressive attempt to sign CD. At the end of the day, you need CD.
"If you don't have him, we can obviously do other things. We've moved on from Nelson [Cruz]. We've moved on from [Nick] Markakis and it's not the easiest things to do, but it's sports, and you've got to adapt to your environment and you've got to move on."
Though Jones will probably be on edge until Davis makes his decision, he is convinced the Orioles will contend in '16.
"We've had tastes of success the last three or four years. There's no going back to Walmart steak. We're a Whole Foods type of organization now. We want to win," said Jones. "The city of Baltimore, you've seen it over the last few years. The support the city has given us has been tremendous. But they want to win at the end of the day. They don't want to just have a good team or be a contender. They want to win. As a player, that's all you can ask for."
And if Jones finally reaches his goal of getting to the World Series, he wants it to be in Baltimore.
"My wife would love New York. She went to law school there. But me personally, I don't know if I could play in Boston or New York. Or Toronto or Tampa Bay," Jones said. When we fly into those cities, as soon as we land, it's just disgust, in the competitive way. We want to beat these guys."
Jones has three years left on his contract with the Orioles and, at least at this point, no desire to go anywhere else.
"It's not up to me. That's up to the franchise," Jones said. "I'm sure the fanbase would love it if I just rode out into the sunset in Baltimore on a nice Harley, but at the end of my career. I know I have three years left on my deal. But the way you've seen this sport trend and transform, at the end of the day, you never know. There's guys who spend 10 years with one team and just switch. Look at Tulo [Troy Tulowitzki], one day he's just up and traded. At the end of the day, you just have to roll with the punches."