Orioles talk: Adam Jones
Here are some insights both from and about Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, compliments of Orioles beat reporter Jeff Zrebiec:
O's center fielder Adam Jones said he was excited when he heard about Nick Markakis’ imminent six-year, $66.1 million contract extension, simply because he felt that his teammate was deserving of the money and commitment shown by the Orioles, but said it didn’t even cross his mind how Markakis’ situation may affect his own.
Like Markakis, Jones is one of the key parts of the Orioles’ young nucleus and -- after Brian Roberts, of course -- is also viewed as the next logical Oriole in line for an extension, but that day is likely a good bit down the road for a player who doesn’t have two full years of service time yet.
"I’m not really thinking about anything like that," Jones said yesterday. "I’m just thinking about the upcoming season. All I can do is go into spring training with the same mindset that I’ve always had; just give it my all and try to improve. Our roster is a lot different than last year. I still think we can make some noise in the [American League] East. Honesty, I really do."
Jones hopes he’ll be a main reason why. He has spent the offseason working out at Athletes Performance Institute in Arizona – the same place where Roberts works out - and said that he has added significant muscle to his frame. Jones, who was listed at 210 pounds in the Orioles’ season wrapup media guide, says he is up to 235 pounds.
"I didn’t put on any fat," Jones said. "My body fat is still 10 percent. Working at API, that [stuff] is hard. I’m bigger and a lot stronger, too. I’ve been pushing myself, running the extra mile, running the extra sprint. This year is going to be a challenge. It’s the big leagues. But it’s going to be more comfortable than it was last year. I’m just excited. Whatever happens, happens. I want to do big things. That’s the name of the game. I want to help out the team any way I can."
One of the guys in Jones’ workout group at API is Brian Matusz, the Orioles first-round pick in this past year’s draft.
"He’s a great guy, a real nice dude," Jones said of Matusz. "And he’s getting strong as hell."
Associated Press photo