The Orioles, building on their early-season momentum, are close to signing center fielder Adam Jones to a club-record contract extension, major-league sources say.
The deal, one source said Friday, will be “well north” of the two largest deals in team history — Miguel Tejada’s six-year, $72 million free-agent deal and Nick Markakis’ six-year, $66.1 million extension.
On Saturday the Associated Press reported that Jones and the O’s have agreed to a six-year, $85 million contract. The team is expected to announce the deal Sunday.
Jones, 26, was eligible for free agency after next season. He has emerged as a leader, offensive centerpiece and defensive stalwart for the Orioles, who entered Saturday with a 29-17 record, the best in the American League.
The signing of Jones is almost certain to be well-received in Baltimore, where the Orioles are trying to end their streak of 14 consecutive losing seasons.
Jones is among the league leaders in several offensive categories. He ranks fourth with a .958 OPS, is tied for second with 14 homers and also is tied for eighth with 29 RBI.