O's, Adam Jones discussing deal

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles and the agent for center fielder Adam Jones are nearing agreement on a contract extension for the one-time All-Star.

Jones' deal is expected to be for six years and in the $85 million range, according to FoxSports.com.

"I don't have a real timeline," Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said Friday night. "We've had some productive discussions and hopefully it will lead to a long-term deal."

Jones' current contract expires after this season, although he will still be under club control in 2013. Jones would then become a free agent, but the Orioles want to lock him up before that happens.

"Hopefully, we can get this done. It would be good for the team, good for the fans," Duquette said. "Adam Jones is a good player. We like Adam Jones, like what he does for our team. He is a great defensive center fielder and hits in the middle of our lineup."

Jones made the AL All-Star team in 2009. He entered play Friday leading the first-place Orioles in batting average (.311), homers (14) and RBIs (29) among players with at least 17 games.

Baltimore's cleanup hitter was also on a career-high 15-game hitting streak.

Jones confirmed Friday that his representative, Nez Balelo, was in Baltimore. Jones also said he's taken a physical, a prerequisite to a long-term contract extension.

Speaking before the Orioles faced the Kansas City Royals, Jones said of Balelo: "He's in town now. Hopefully I'll have some good news for you, but right now I don't. I'm sorry."

Reached by telephone, Balelo told The Associated Press, "It is our policy not to comment on any contract negotiations."

Jones has been a starter since coming to the Orioles in the February 2008 trade that sent Erik Bedard to the Seattle Mariners.

Duquette said earlier this month that he prefers to put off contract talks until the offseason, but Jones' value has never been higher.

"My choice is to not talk about contracts during the season," Duquette said, adding, "We've been working on it a while."

Asked who initiated the talks, Jones said, "Probably both sides. I'm not in their offices. It's an exciting thing, it's a humbling thing, just even the thought of it. But it's not complete. Trust me, my phone has been blowing up. It's exciting, but I'd rather wait until something is imminent. Then I could have good news for you guys."

The reported deal would surpass the largest deal in franchise history -- Miguel Tejada's six-year, $72 million contract signed in 2003.

"It's not about the money," he said. "You can get money anywhere."

For Jones, it's about being on a winning team. The Orioles have endured 14 straight losing seasons, but Jones sees the potential for that to change.

"Look at the players I have around me," he said. "The core is 25, 26. I'm 26 myself. It's something we can build up until we're in our 30s. That would be a strong thing, to have a strong core that can work together similar to what New York has with (Derek) Jeter, Mariano (Rivera), (Jorge) Posada, (Andy) Pettitte. We have a good team and I've enjoyed it since I've been here, but winning has made it more enjoyable."

Catcher Matt Wieters would love to see Jones stick around for a long time.

"Everybody would be very happy for Adam and very happy for the Orioles," Wieters said. "It would be a great deal for both parties."

Also Friday, the Orioles designated veteran outfielder Bill Hall for assignment and recalled pitcher Stu Pomeranz from Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles also recalled catcher Ronny Paulino from Norfolk on Friday and optioned Luis Exposito to the same minor league club.

Hall was batting .286 with one homer since joining the team on May 12. He had seven at-bats in six games.

Manager Buck Showalter expressed hope that Hall would pass through waivers and accept an assignment to Norfolk.

Showalter said the Orioles wanted to add Pomeranz to "keep the integrity of the bullpen." The right-hander made two scoreless appearances with Baltimore earlier this season.

Paulino hit .300 (9 for 30) with three RBIs in nine games for the Orioles earlier this season. Exposito was batting .059 in eight games with Baltimore.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.