D-backs free agent OF Adam Jones reportedly in talks to sign in Japan

Dec 9, 2019, 1:08 PM
Adam Jones #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks ccircles the bases after hitting a solo home run in the ...
Adam Jones #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks ccircles the bases after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on May 03, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks free agent outfielder Adam Jones is talking to the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan about a multi-year deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Monday.

“If he decides to go to Japan, an agreement could come this week,” Rosenthal added.

Jones is a free agent after playing the 2019 season with the Diamondbacks on a one-year, $3 million deal that had up to $1.5 million in incentives, according to Spotrac.

The veteran outfielder is entering his age-34 season after 14 seasons in Major League Baseball. He played two years with the Seattle Mariners, followed by 11 with the Orioles before one with the D-backs. He played 137 games in Arizona, hitting .260 with 16 home runs and 67 RBIs.

Jones’ 528 plate appearances this past season were the fewest he’s had since 2009.

The D-backs didn’t sign Jones until after the start of spring training last year as many key MLB free agents struggled to find satisfactory offers.

He was a productive player for Arizona last year in an outfield that saw injuries to David Peralta and Steven Souza, but the underlying metrics had some downside. He had a negative WAR (-0.4), according to Baseball-Reference (thanks mostly to a -1.0 defensive WAR) and an OPS+ of 87, which was the worst he’s had since 2008 and the second time he’s been below 100 in 11 years.

There are off-the-field reasons to add Jones, though, as he could bring both veteran experience and marketability as one of the stars from the past decade in MLB; Jones is a five-time All-Star and hit 30 or more home runs in a season twice.

The Orix Buffaloes finished last in the NPB’s Pacific League standings this year, going 61-75.

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