NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Orioles would like to leave the Winter Meetings with a bat.
The most popular name in the queue is currently Billy Butler, the Kansas City Royals’ designated hitter. There’s another name that’s been making the rounds Monday morning, and that’s Garrett Jones.
Jones is the Pittsburgh Pirates’ first baseman, and the always budget-conscious Bucs could be looking to move him.
His resume isn’t as strong as Butler’s, but the price tag might not be as high. Jones is a late-bloomer. He’s only been a regular for four seasons, but he can play the field, which Butler can’t, and is also a home run hitter.
Jones hit 27 home runs and had 86 RBIs with a .274 average for the Pirates. At 31, he’s a full five years older than Butler, but a lot cheaper. He earned $2.25 million a little more than a quarter than Butler’s take.
The arbitration-eligible Jones is due a big bump this year, and Pittsburgh could be interested in a combination of some of the Orioles young pitchers: Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton or Pedro Strop.