May 18, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) hits an RBI single against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
MASNSports.com's Rich Kubatko tweeted this morning (@MASNRoch) about the Washington Nationals' rumored pursuit of Baltimore Orioles' center fielder Adam Jones this past winter, reporting that he'd been told the Nats offered a package of four players in return for the 26-year-old '03 1st Round pick that the O's passed on:
#orioles could have had lannan, storen, Lombardozzi and CF for Jones over winter. Passed— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) May 25, 2012
Jones, who's off to a .311/.357/.601, nine double, 14 HR, +2.8 fWAR start to the 2012 season, is reportedly close to signing a 6-year/$85M dollar extension with the Orioles, who, according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS), were talking to more than one team about the possibility of a trade for the outfielder this past offseason:
#orioles could have traded adam jones for packages w storen or jurrjens. nl exec: "they made the right move.'' i'll say!— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) May 25, 2012
Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore wrote on Twitter (@AdamKilgoreWP), in response to MASN's Mr. Roch's report, that Nats' GM Mike Rizzo, "... loves [Adam] Jones." The Nats' GM spoke about the O's outfielder himself in an MLB Network Radio interview this past March when former Nationals' general manager Jim Bowden asked about rumors at the time which tied the Nats to Jones during Spring Training, explaining that he thought the O's center fielder was, "a terrific player."
"He's a guy that we've investigated and we like," Rizzo told the MLB Network Radio host, "He's a very toolsy player. Offensive-minded, roams center field very well. He's one of the real good center fielders in the game and he certainly fills the need that we have for a center fielder."
According to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, the need remains, and there's a reason the Nationals continue to be mentioned in connection, "... to any and all potentially available center fielders." A scout the writer talked to for the "Rumblings and Grumblings" column today told him, "... that the Bryce Harper center-field experiment hasn't gone so well,":
"Harper has started fewer games in center (six) than he's started at either of the other two outfield spots. And one scout who spoke with the Nationals brass says the club has already concluded that Harper isn't going to be The Answer in center -- 'even short-term.'"