Yesterday, Mike Hazen sat in on the typical press call to give feedback about the Adam Jones signing.
On the thought process going into signing Adam Jones (Steve Gilbert)
With Adam out there, we felt like it was a good deal to make for us at this point in time, to add somebody of his caliber to our roster. He’s been an elite player in the league for a long time and we felt that by adding Adam, we made ourselves a better ballclub today than we were yesterday. And so that was sort of the big picture decision, to add him.
On what Mike Hazen sees as Jones’ role (follow-up)
We see him playing quite a bit. I think he’s going to play all three outfield spots for us. He obviously is a really good hitter, makes a lot of contact, has power. When we broke it down, we felt like given the days off we would give guys, in and around our team, there was a large chunk of at-bats that were going to be divided out over the course of the season. We felt like adding Adam would really help us take a decent portion of those. Then obviously, as you go through the seasons, things changes - one injury or something happens and you wind up with a lot more than that.
We are just excited to add him, the quality person, teammate, leader, we feel like he is going to fit great in our clubhouse. He has a pedigree of winning. He’s been in winning environments for almost his entire career and that matters to us with what we are trying to accomplish.
Is Ketel Marte still the Primary center fielder? (Zach Buchanan)
I think the word primary has always sort of been taken too far. I don’t think we have necessarily categorized him unilaterally as such. We’ve said at times Ketel is going to play center field, second base, shortstop and that’s still going to be the case.
Who will get the majority of time in center field, or will it be mix-and-match? (follow up)
I would say center field is probably more that, mix-and-match, to some degree, but we’ll see how it plays itself out. I can’t project out too far on that - get yourself in trouble with the way the season runs and with the things that happen. But sitting here right now I think that center field will be a position that will have some splits opportunities for starts.
Does Adam Jones bring more leadership and was that leadership something the team was looking to add to the roster? (Jody Jackson)
I think we are always looking to add that dynamic and those types of players into our clubhouse. We aren’t always afforded the opportunity to do those things just because of the way the market goes and guys sign elsewhere. To have that opportunity, that’s why we jumped at it when we did. It is something that we are always looking to add to our clubhouse. We feel very strongly about the culture within those walls and the amount of time guys spend together and the ups and downs of a major league season, that having players like Adam only helps.
How long have negotiations with Adam been going ? (Steve Gilbert)
On and off through the offseason, but more direct, probably within the last week.
Why sign him now? (Nick Piecoro)
We got a deal done. There was nothing that, I think as we looked at our team and we are constantly, even once day one happens of the season, we’re asking ourselves how we can get better. I feel this is a way to make us better. The timing within the offseason itself, I can’t really speak to that. It wasn’t that there was some concerted effort to wait for any reason, we just felt like we had an opportunity to make the team better in our minds, and that’s why we did it now.
After signing Wilmer Flores, comments made indicated that the team was done adding to the major league roster. What about that equation has changed?
As the offseason continued to go on, he was still out there and available. As we continued to look at our roster and to look at it further, obviously trades, and free agency are very fluid things and they change all the time. Things you’re involved with today don’t tend to be the things you’re involved with tomorrow, just depending on the market behaves or reacts. Going back to, we felt like this was an opportunity to make the ballclub better and we did.
Any concerns about the defensive metrics and his running speed as it relates to him being in center field?
We are aware of what the defensive metrics say. We talked to Adam about it quite a bit. We talked through how we would work positioning and things like that. He’s always been somebody who has handled center field very well. We feel like he is going to translate into the corners. Speaking specifically, we still think he is going to play a solid defensive outfield. I think we’ll continue to see opportunities to improve our defense if and when we need to at times. I think we’ve done that in the past. I think that the team, as it sets up, gives us the chance to do things in-game that may allow us to take opportunities there towards constantly shifting things in and out. We felt like the balance of the offense and the offensive profile that we have spoken about previously with regard to contact skills, power, things that sort of rounded out where I think we were a little deficient last year.