Over the offseason the Nationals were linked several times to Orioles' center fielder Adam Jones. Washington GM Mike Rizzo even commented publicly on how well he would fit in their plans at the position. Nothing ended up happening of course, Jones stayed an Oriole and his now in line for a huge extension after an MVP-like start to the year.
But now that Jones looks like an Oriole for the foreseeable future, a trade offer from months ago has surfaced. The Nationals reportedly offered Baltimore starter John Lannan, closer Drew Storen, infielder Steve Lombardozzi, and a center fielder. The Orioles declined the trade and the rest, as they say, is history.
In hindsight the trade offer looks pretty pathetic on the Orioles' end. Storen has since been injured and has yet to play this year, and Lannan has struggled mightily at Triple-A Syracuse. Lombardozzi has had a solid year with a .300-plus batting average, but he wasn't a centerpiece in the deal.
At the time the offer was a little more of a close call, but you can see the Orioles' reasoning in keep Jones. Assuming they knew they had a chance to sign him long-term, Jones is one of the best players at his position and a true star in the league.
In 2011 Drew Storen saved 43 games and John Lannan held a 3.70 ERA in 184.2 innings pitched. Jones, however, is a fan favorite in Baltimore and it would have taken more to get him, even before his amazing start to this season.
The possibility does remain intriguing though, even in hindsight. Did the Orioles make a counter offer? Would the Nationals offer more than what they did for the right player? We may never know, but for now it is fun to think about.