The Detroit Tigers are likely going to stick to low-cost additions this winter – but what would pursuing a former star like Adam Jones look like?
All three of those deals were of the one-year variety, and none of them were expensive at all. Detroit has plenty of free agents who fit that bill to choose from this offseason; including Logan Morrison, Marco Estrada, Jordy Mercer and Luis Valbuena.
However, the team did just shed $18M in salary with the retirement of designated hitter Victor Martinez. While they aren’t going to be contending in 2019, they could look to spend a little more cash this year and bring in some talent.
One option the team could consider is 33-year-old star outfielder Adam Jones, who is a free agent after spending the last 11 seasons as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.
Adam Jones in Detroit?
It’s no secret that Jones is past his prime. He slashed .281/.313/.419 with 15 homers over 613 plate appearances last season. That was his lowest home run output since 2008, and his 98 wRC+ is his worst since 2008 as well.
While it is unlikely that he will return to his old ways, Jones does have plenty left in the tank offensively. His defensive numbers have slipped in recent years, but he is still capable of holding it down on the outfield corners, and could DH as well if Detroit wanted Miguel Cabrera to play some first base.
More than any of that, Jones is a mentor and role model who could have a very positive influence on Detroit’s young outfielders, mainly JaCoby Jones and Christin Stewart. Jones’ elite combination of defense and power (in his younger years) could dramatically help Detroit’s young outfield, making him somewhat of a mentor/coach while also contributing on the field.
All of this is dependent on what Jones wants. He has very limited playoff experience, and may want to spend the final few years of his career on a contender. Likewise, he probably wants to sign a multi-year deal, something he is unlikely to get from Avila and the Detroit Tigers.
If, somehow, these hurdles are overcome, Jones would be a very nice addition for this young Tigers squad.
Ultimately, bringing Jones to Detroit is an unlikely scenario. However, there is plenty of reason for Detroit to at least check into him on the open market.