Ex-Baltimore Orioles standout Adam Jones heading to Japan for 'next chapter in life'

The Baltimore Sun (TNS)
Adam Jones

Adam Jones, the longtime Orioles star whose free agency in 2019 became something of a flashpoint as he waited until March to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks, ended his wait for a new home quickly this winter.

Jones, who was in his native San Diego on Tuesday at baseball’s winter meetings, announced on his Instagram that he signed a two-year guaranteed contract with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan.

“Well it’s that time in my career and life my family and I had to make a HUGE decision, and so that is what we have done!!," Jones wrote. "MLB has been amazing to myself and my family. We had an incredible run from the day I signed in 2003 to my final AB last year. It’s been the greatest 12 years and 139 days a person could ask for! The game has provided me an incredible living and has borne many fruits and hardware throughout the years. A lot to be proud of, that’s for sure.

“It’s now time to move on to my next chapter in life and say farewell to MLB and hello to NPB. That’s right, there is a team over in Japan (Orix Buffaloes) that views me as a valuable piece to help bring their organization back on track and I’m up for the challenge!!”

According to multiple reports, including The Athletic, Jones will make a guaranteed $8 million over the next two seasons, with a club option for a third year and incentives that could make the deal worth $15.5 million.

The 34-year-old Jones hit .260 with 16 home runs in his only year with the Diamondbacks, a coda to a major league career in which he spent 11 seasons with the Orioles and went to five All-Star Games while winning four Gold Glove Awards in center field.

But Jones had to wait a long time in free agency last winter to get a job, and coming off that type of season in the desert, decided against testing that market again.

His announcement included gratitude to Orix for their belief in him and for everyone who was part of his career, as well as a little advice to the major league players he’ll be leaving behind.

“You all be good and play nice over there especially with the [collective bargaining agreement] coming to an end. There is enough to go around, just work it out!!”

Gausman signs with Giants: Jones isn’t the only former Oriole heading somewhere new next season, though right-hander Kevin Gausman slightly less far.

Gausman, who wasn’t tendered a contract by the Cincinnati Reds this month, signed a one-year agreement with the San Francisco Giants worth a reported $9 million.

The Orioles dealt Gausman and reliever Darren O’Day to the Atlanta Braves at the July 31, 2018, trade deadline, but the Giants will be his third organization after the Braves designated Gausman for assignment and waived him late last season.