The Orioles releasing Jahmai Jones are a reminder that nothing is given in the reconstruction. analysis

The Orioles' placing Jamai Jones on an unconditional release waiver is a reminder that nothing is given in the rebuild.  analysis

The Orioles releasing Jahmai Jones are a reminder that nothing is given in the reconstruction. analysis

Reconstruction is an imperfect science, even though all the scouting and analysis that determine modern baseball transactions. There can still be lapses or injuries that a player once considered the centerpiece, and three moves from the Orioles in recent months have shown as much.

The latest came on Saturday, when second baseman Jahmai Jones granted an unconditional release waiver and was released – potentially ending the former Top 100 prospect’s time with the Orioles. He could always re-sign, especially as he rehabs from Tommy John elbow reconstructive surgery last week.

But Jones’ release is the most recent reminder of the imperfect process of trading for unproven yet promising young players. And there’s another trade deadline approaching in early August in which the Orioles are likely to be sellers, with more deals being struck without any guarantees they’ll get major league contributors in return for those they drop.

and Jones, whom the Orioles acquired in a deal that sent right-hander Alex Cobb — as well as nearly $10 million to cover most of the final year of Cobb’s contract — to the Los Angeles Angels in February 2021. , the primary example may be, with an injury and their release within a week.

“He’s still a young boy,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Hopefully he has a long career ahead of him. Just one of them – it’s a hard injury that puts you out for a year or so. Like I said, he’s still young, and hopefully ahead of him Can have a good career.

Other recent examples of probabilities are situations requiring the Orioles to be removed from the 40-man roster or placed on a waiver before the Orioles appeared high.

Left-hander Kevin Smith and a low-level prospect were acquired from the New York Mets in exchange for right-hander Miguel Castro, but Smith was waived this off-season, removing him from the 40-man roster because his results were modest. was in the league. The level left a lot to be desired.

Right-handed Isaac Matson joined Baltimore in December 2019, along with Los Angeles Angels right-handers Zach Peake, Kyle Braddish and Kyle Branovich, in exchange for right-hander Dylan Bundy. Mattson made his major league debut last season, but was relegated at 40. -Man Roster In April, a major regression to another business piece.

Mattson and Smith both went through unclaimed discounts, unwanted on another team’s 40-man roster, not long after Baltimore ousted them in the trades. Jones did the same, a sign that the Orioles were leading – at least for the time being – from all three.

When the Orioles traded for Jones, it seemed to signal a change in organizational direction. For most of the tenure of executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias in Baltimore, the organization targeted young talent in the lower reaches of the agricultural system.

The Orioles parted ways with him in trading Cobb for Jones in a one-for-one deal. Jones had already made his major league debut with the Angels, speeding up his time to reach the major leagues in Baltimore.

But after making 72 plate appearances with a .149 average in 2021, Jones was relegated back to the minors. He may come back in the future. But it was another reminder that business – for those seen as the current major leaguers or the major leaguers of the future – is uncertain business with no guarantees.


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