It is expected that the Philadelphia Phillies will be busy up until next Wednesday’s trade deadline, making phone calls and trying to upgrade certain positions.
One position of need for the Phillies is an extra outfielder. As currently constructed, the Phillies have two good young outfielders in Rhys Hoskins and Odubel Herrera.
This season, Hoskins and Herrera have been helping out the Phillies big time, providing offense at the top of the lineup. While those two guys are patrolling left and center field successfully, right field has been an issue for them.
Starting right fielder Nick Williams is wildly inconsistent, slashing .250/.329/.438 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI. Then there’s Aaron Altherr, who was the team’s fourth outfielder before he got demoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley for poor play.
With that being known, the Phillies are reportedly showing interest in a veteran outfielder from the A.L. East.
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, the Phillies are considering the idea of trading for Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones. Thus far, the Phillies have struck out on acquiring shortstop Manny Machado and pitcher Zach Britton, but getting Jones would be a nice consolation price.
The veteran outfielder is having another consistent season for the lowly Baltimore Orioles. Jones is slashing .277/.304/.422 with 10 home runs and 38 RBIs.
He would be a solid upgrade over Williams plus give the Phillies another offensive weapon in their lineup.
Over the last 5-7 seasons, Jones has been one of Baltimore’s best players.
In 2013, Jones hit a career-high 33 home runs and drove in 108 RBIs. During that same season, he was in the discussion for AL MVP and received both the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards.
Even though all these numbers and accolades sound good, there are a couple of looming issues when it comes to trading for Jones.
For starters, he has 10-and-5 rights, which means players who have racked up 10 years of Major League service and spent five straight seasons with the same team can veto any proposed trade scenario.
If this language sounds familiar, it is essentially a no-trade clause for players who do not have it in their contract.
What would Adam Jones bring to the Phillies?
Therefore, would Jones accept a trade to the Phillies? Without a question he would because Jones wants to play for a contending team.
But here is the next looming issue, can Jones play right field?
Aforementioned, offensively he would be an upgrade over what the Phillies have in right field, but it might not work defensively. Over his 13-year career, Jones has only played a combined 32 games in left and right field.
According to FanGraphs, Jones’ defensive runs saved along with his UZR (ultimate zone rating)/150 have increased over the last few seasons. This season, the veteran outfielder has a minus -15 defensive runs saved and minus -16.3 UZR/150.
If you wondered how UZR/150 is calculated, they take range, arm strength, errors, and double plays to figure out a player’s defensive worth in runs.
These are just his numbers as a center fielder, so who knows how they would translate to the corner outfield spot.
Earlier this week, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Phillies are also talking to the Blue Jays about outfielder Curtis Granderson. Out of the two, Granderson might be the better fit for the Phillies rather than Jones.
Granderson might not have the offensive numbers that Jones’ boasts, but defensively he has shown that he can play all three outfield positions exceptionally well.
The Orioles know what the Phillies’ farm system has to offer based on the Machado trade talks, so it will be interesting to see if this report has any legs to it or if it is just smoke and mirrors.