Brian Roberts Rumors

Odds And Ends: Orioles, Bowden, Nathan

A few links for Sunday afternoon…

  • According to’s Spencer Fordin the Orioles used "number crunching and statistical analysis" to compare Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis to similar past and present players before locking them up to deals worth $40MM and $66MM, respectively.
  • Rob Bradford of reports that Joe Nathan‘s happy to see Jonathan Papelbon making lots of money this year ($6.25MM) because it’s good for closers in general.
  • Jayson Stark of points out the absurdity of the Manny Ramirez negotiations and suggests the structure of a deal that could work for both sides. It’s been nearly four months since the Dodgers made their initial offer of two years and $45MM.
  • Pete McElroy of MASN Sports reports that Dmitri Young‘s "shocked" to see Jim Bowden resign. Young, who first dealt with Bowden on the Reds, spoke glowingly of his former GM.
  • According to’s Jason Beck Jim Leyland confirmed that the Tigers had some offseason discussions about Juan Cruz.
  • The draft’s still three months away, but Keith Law of is already putting together scouting reports about some top amateur players.
  •’s Lyle Spencer dreams up a deal that sends Adrian Gonzalez and Jake Peavy to the Angels for 10 players.

Technically, Roberts Could Be Traded

Following a new contract extension for Brian Roberts, Peter Schmuck and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun point out an interesting feature of Roberts’ new deal:

The club retains a fairly unfettered right to deal Roberts now, but Orioles officials insist the club has no intention of pursuing any trade talks involving him.

Many sportswriters have questioned the fit of this contract for the Orioles, since it keeps a 31-year old second baseman signed on an otherwise young team. With limited no-trade protection, Roberts may or may not be a continued fit for the Orioles’ long-term plan.

Orioles Rumors: Roberts Deal, McCrory

Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun has the latest on Brian Roberts‘ no-trade clause and an Orioles signing:

  • Roberts isn’t likely to be dealt anytime soon, but there are four teams he can’t be traded to this year. Schmuck is "pretty confident" that the Royals and Blue Jays are two of the four.
  • Roberts can block trades to eight teams next year and to 12 the year after that.
  • Roberts has a complete no trade clause the following year, just before his 10-5 rights kick in for spending 10 years in the majors and the last five with the same team.
  • The Orioles have agreed to terms with reliever Bob McCrory.

O’s Sign Brian Roberts To Extension

10:44am:’s Spencer Fordin reports that the deal is now official.  Put it in the books.  The Orioles have even issued a press release.

FRIDAY, 10:08am: MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that Roberts passed his physical this morning.  The O’s will announce his contract extension later today.

THURSDAY, 7:00pm: Zrebiec reports that the deal is done. Roberts confirmed that he took his physical today and the deal will be announced tomorrow. It’s a four-year, $40MM extension. Roberts feels that the O’s will compete sometime during the duration of his contract:

"I don’t think I would’ve made the commitment to even begin negotiations if I didn’t think that at some point in this process of the next four or five years that we wouldn’t have a chance to win,"

Roberts also voiced his desire to remain with one club for his entire career:

"In citing the reasons he wanted to get a deal done to stay in Baltimore, Roberts, who was married this offseason, pointed to the importance of loyalty and his desire to remain with one organization for his entire career," writes Zrebiec.

THURSDAY, 10:03am: Roberts on the deal: "Obviously, it’s fairly close to done."

WEDNESDAY, 6:09pm: The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec writes that the Orioles and Roberts are "finalizing" the contract:

The terms of the deal have been agreed to, but contract language and other details still need to be worked out before the agreement, which is expected to include at least a minor no-trade clause, is finalized, sources said.

Roberts has a physical scheduled for Thursday morning.  A signature could come Friday.

4:17pm: Steve Melewski of MASN passes along a few quotes from Roberts.  The second baseman spoke of making "huge strides" toward a deal.

3:06pm: MASN’s Roch Kubatko says the deal is "just about done," with only minor issues to be addressed.  He says to expect an announcement Friday at the earliest.

11:44am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says Roberts and the Orioles are close to a four-year, $40MM deal.  Rosenthal implies the extension will begin with the 2010 season.

9:34am: According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles are closing in on a four-year deal with second baseman Brian Roberts.  Some details still need to be worked out.

Assuming the extension begins with the 2010 season, Roberts will be 36 at its conclusion.  Is this the right move for a franchise trying to get younger?

Odds and Ends: Griffey, Blue Jays, Roberts

Links for Thursday…

Roberts, Orioles Narrowing Gap On Extension?

WEDNESDAY, 7:59am: Schmuck takes a stab at the numbers on a possible Roberts extension:

The Orioles – according to Baltimore Sun reporting – were holding close to a three-year offer worth $30MM until the past few weeks. Though no definite number came out of the Roberts camp, the word on the street was he was looking for closer to $40MM over that term and would look more kindly on a four-year offer. No one would be surprised if the final deal ends up being four years for about $44MM, which would be about the same average annual salary the Orioles gave Nick Markakis.

Markakis, however, is guaranteed almost $15MM per year for his first three free agent seasons.

WEDNESDAY, 10:51am: Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun talked to Orioles president Andy MacPhail, who said he’s "narrowing the gap" with Brian Roberts‘ agent on a possible extension.  Spencer Fordin’s source doesn’t believe Roberts’ extension has been held up because of Orlando Hudson‘s free agency.  MacPhail said similar things to Roch Kubatko of MASN.  Roberts does not want to talk about the topic until Thursday.  Perhaps this spring, we’ll be spared the constant Roberts trade rumors.

Jeff Zrebiec Talks To Andy MacPhail

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun talked to Orioles president Andy MacPhail recently.  A few hot stove highlights:

  • MacPhail doesn’t feel misled by Mark Teixeira and Scott Boras, but notes that there was never any engagement from them after the Orioles made their offer.
  • The Orioles’ philosophy is to "grow the arms and buy the bats."  With Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, and Jake Arrieta in the system, it seems to be going according to plan.
  • MacPhail says owner Peter Angelos is not meddling, in fact "there is nothing further from the truth."
  • Of course, MacPhail would like to sign Brian Roberts to an extension while maintaining financial flexibility.

Odds And Ends: Brewers, Roberts, Tejada

A few links for Wednesday night…

Perrotto’s Latest: Position Battles, Roberts, Pudge

John Perrotto’s Every Given Sunday column is up over at Baseball Prospectus. This week, he takes a look at some of the position battles teams will face entering Spring Training. And, as always, there’s some interesting items in his Rumors & Rumblings section. Let’s take a look:

  • Some of the more interesting position battles mentioned: 1B/DH/RF in Oakland (Daric Barton, Jack Cust, Jason Giambi, Aaron Cunningham, and Travis Buck all in the mix), Tampa’s closer if Troy Percival gets hurt or falters (Dan Wheeler, J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour), and the White Sox rotation behind John Danks, Mark Buerhle, and Gavin Floyd (Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Bartolo Colon, Jeff Marquez).
  • Brian Roberts still wants a four-year deal before Spring Training starts up, or he’ll cut off negotiations. Does Roberts make more sense as a cornerstone in Baltimore or as a trade chip?
  • Perrotto feels Tom Glavine will inevitably re-sign with the Braves.
  • The White Sox have minor interest in signing Ivan Rodriguez as a backup for A.J. Pierzynski. I’m sure Pudge would prefer a starting gig, but at this point, it’s tough to be picky.
  • We’ve heard a lot about the Orioles having interest in Rich Hill lately, but Perrotto reminds us that the Mariners are interested in the 28-year-old lefty as well.

Brian Roberts Addresses Contract Situation

On MASN’s weekly Brian Roberts segment, the Orioles’ second baseman touched on his contract situation, as well as teammate Nick Markakis‘ new deal. In regard to his own contract, Roberts made it clear that though he’s focused on Opening Day, he believes that there’s time to make a deal before spring training:

"It is going to come to a point where we have to make a decision one way or the other," he said. "I don’t want this to drag out once we get into kind of midway through spring training as I start getting ready to play for the season. I think there will be sufficient time up until then to get this worked out if we can. And if not, then we’ll see what happens at the end of the year. We’re not at that point yet."

Ken Rosenthal reported previously that Roberts wants a four-year extension to stay in Baltimore. The Orioles made Roberts an offer earlier this month, which was believed to be for $10MM per season, but only for three years.