Brian Roberts Rumors
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.
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.
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?
Links for Thursday...
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has details around the Mariners' Ken Griffey Jr. signing, while Keith Law has criticism for it. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blogs about his "Griffey Chooses Braves" story. MLB.com's Mark Bowman also has thoughts on the decision not to play for Atlanta, and another postmortem article where he talks to Frank Wren and Chipper Jones.
- Drunk Jays Fans has a preview of the team.
- Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun writes in praise of the Brian Roberts extension. I don't like the argument that the Orioles needed to sign Roberts because they don't have a clear successor at second base.
- RotoAuthority ranks starting pitchers for fantasy baseball.
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 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.
A few links for Wednesday night...
- According to The Sports Network, the Brewers signed minor leaguers Eduardo Morlan and Cody Scarpetta to one year deals.
- Brian Roberts hasn't given up on working out an extension with the O's, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. Kubatko writes "it's pretty clear that he wants a fourth year."
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News profiles Jesus Montero, the 19-year-old who could succeed Jorge Posada if he fares well as a catcher.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock reports that Tigers' pitching prospect Rick Porcello isn't changing his approach as he approaches the majors.
- AZSnakePit.com interviewed D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes about pitching, defensive metrics and the June draft.
- Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Chase Utley looks healthy in Clearwater.
- The Astros hope Miguel Tejada starts the season as their shortstop, according to Brian McTaggart of the Houston Chronicle. Astros GM Ed Wade is apparently "committed to Tejada."
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.
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.
Links for Saturday morning...
- Pedro Martinez isn't worried that he hasn't signed yet.
- Jason Varitek says he's still "exchanging offers" with the Red Sox. Scott Boras and Theo Epstein didn't comment on the talks, which continue slowly.
- Buster Olney takes a look at the market for Ben Sheets. He says whoever signs Sheets will get a bargain. Some GMs would be impressed if he gets $20MM over two years.
- Nate McLouth isn't optimistic about his chances of signing a multi-year deal with the Pirates.
- Peter Schmuck thinks the O's should find a way to sign Brian Roberts to a long term contract.
- The Blue Jays fired assistant GM Bart Given.
- Gordon Wittenmyer breaks down the Cubs' chances of acquiring Jake Peavy now that the team's about to change hands.
- Richard Justice writes Randy Wolf should have accepted the Astros' offer.