AP Source: O's, Jones agree to deal through 2018
By DAVID GINSBURG
BALTIMORE (AP) The Baltimore Orioles and center fielder Adam Jones have agreed to an $85.5 million, six-year contract through 2018, a person familiar with the negotiations said, the largest deal in Orioles' history.
The person spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because the deal, which starts next year, had not yet been announced. The Orioles announced a news conference for Sunday.
Jones has a $6.15 million, one-year contract, had been eligible for arbitration next winter and for free agency after the 2013 season. Vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette began negotiating a new deal with the 2009 All-Star weeks ago.
Jones' new deal includes a $2 million signing bonus, $8.5 million in 2013, $13 million each in 2014 and 2015, $16 million apiece in 2016 and 2017 and $17 million in 2018. It also includes a no-trade provision.
Jones took a physical this week, a prerequisite to a long-term deal.
The 26-year-old has a 17-game hitting streak and leads Baltimore in homers and RBIs.
On Friday, when the deal appeared destined to become reality, Jones said, "It's an exciting moment. Humbling."
His quest was not necessarily to become the highest-paid player in Orioles history, but part of a winner. With Jones leading the way, Baltimore is currently in first place in the AL East.
"Look at the players I have around me," he said. "The core is 25, 26. I'm 26 myself. It's something we can build up until we're in our 30s. That would be a strong thing, to have a strong core that can work together similar to what New York has with (Derek) Jeter, Mariano (Rivera), (Jorge) Posada, (Andy) Pettitte. We have a good team and I've enjoyed it since I've been here, but winning has made it more enjoyable."
His new deal tops the contracts of Miguel Tejada ($72 million) and Nick Markakis ($66.1 million). It is the second-highest for a center fielder, trailing only Matt Kemp's $160 million, eight-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Updated May 26, 2012