Adam Jones calls for more speed, athleticism in outfield

— -- Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones says his team hasn't done enough to improve the outfield in the offseason.

During the team's FanFest on Saturday, he spoke out about his belief that the Orioles' outfield needs more speed and athleticism.

"We don't need more offense," Jones said, according to The Baltimore Sun. "I think we need to improve the outfield defense. And people are always going to say pitching, pitching, pitching, but I think we've got some damn good pitchers right now. They're young, but they're maturing. [Kevin] Gausman turned a page. [Dylan] Bundy increased his innings. I think we've got pretty good starting pitching. I think we just need to improve defensively in the outfield, just get more speed, more athleticism out there."

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette had said in December that the team was looking to improve its outfield defense. Jones' comments Saturday indicate that there's still work to be done on that front.

"We don't have a strikeout pitching staff, so our defense is used quite a bit," Jones said. "You see how our infield defense is unbelievable. We're still competitive in the outfield, but we just need to get a little bit more athletic out there in my point of view. I've been out there for a while. I've seen the changes. Those are just a little bit of my ideas."

Duquette also said Saturday that the team is still for more speed in the outfield.

The Orioles haven't changed much since the end of the 2016 season, when they went 89-73 before losing to the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League wild-card game.

Baltimore's biggest move since October was retaining major league home run leader Mark Trumbo, who agreed to a three-year, $37.5 million contract. They also completed a trade for outfielder Seth Smith.

Jones, 31, said he didn't want to critique either player but noted they weren't defense-first outfielders.

"I would say just get more athletic guys," Jones said, "not saying that Trumbo and Seth Smith aren't athletic. They're very good athletes, but they're not top-of-the-line defensive players first."

Jones will also look to improve his defensive contribution in 2017, after he produced negative-0.6 defensive wins above replacement last season. For his career, Jones has a 1.6 DWAR, and he has won four Gold Glove Awards.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.