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Friday, May 29, 2020

Report: Adam Jones buying house in Baltimore not a hint at free agency plans

The Orioles could wind up losing two of their best players in free agency this summer, but one of them just bought a very expensive home in Baltimore. That has to be a positive sign, right?

Apparently not.

Cal Ripken Jr. recently sold his 25-acre estate in Reisterstown, Md., at an auction, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that longtime Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones is the one who bought it. Fans in Baltimore might think an O’s legend selling his house to Jones means Jones intends to stay in the area in 2019 and beyond, but sources told Rosenthal that is not the case.

Jones bought Ripken’s home at auction for a fraction of its original listing price of $12.5 million, according to sources. But the transaction, which is not yet final, will have no bearing on Jones’ future in Baltimore.

While Jones, 32, is a free agent at the end of the season, he bought the Ripken estate mainly as an investment, not because he is on the verge of signing with the Orioles long-term, sources said.

Jones, who is in the final year of a six-year, $85.5 million contract, also buys and sells homes for investment purposes in other cities.

Ripken’s estate was originally listed for $12.5 million in September 2016, and the last price seen was $9.75 million. Perhaps Jones determined that the investment was too good to pass up.

Jones is 32 and was hitting .259 as of Thursday, which would be the lowest mark of his 10-plus seasons with the Orioles. However, he has been one of the most consistent and durable players in baseball for several years now. Jones has hit 25 or more home runs and driven in over 100 runs in each of the past seven seasons, so he should be able to land a hefty contract next winter.

Since they are currently one of the worst teams in baseball, it would not be a surprise if the Orioles held a fire sale at the trade deadline. Manny Machado has already been linked to several other teams, and Baltimore is clearly in need of a total rebuild. Jones may not be on the roster come August.

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