In light of the imminent Nick Markakis extension, Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun is making a prediction: Brian Roberts will not receive an extension, and will start the season on the Orioles. The Orioles had reportedly offered a multiyear extension at about $10MM per, but the two sides had not made progress as of early January. Schmuck reasons,
"…the market for him right now is pretty soft. The proof in that is free agent Orlando Hudson, who is basically Brian without all the stolen bases and is still waiting to be signed. Why would anyone give up a package of young players for Brian, who has to be signed beyond this season? The same team could sign Hudson for less than Roberts wants without having to give up more than draft choice compensation."
Dan Connolly posited the same reasoning last week. For the record, Schmuck thinks the Orioles should extend Roberts to "mollify the fanbase" and support their young pitching staff by maintaining solid infield defense up-the-middle.