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