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January 21, 2009

Markakis contract official

Not that there was any doubt, but the Orioles have officially announced the six-year, $66.1 million contract extension that has made Nick Markakis the second-highest-paid Oriole ever in terms of total guaranteed money, and third-highest in terms of average annual salary. Only Albert Belle ($13 million) and Miguel Tejada ($12 million) made more per year than Markakis will make through the 2014 season.

The total may be a little high for this market, but it was important for the Orioles to lock up the guy who has a chance to be the face of the franchise for a long, long time, especially in light of the possibility that they will not be able to sign Brian Roberts.

The deal also has escalator clauses that could add $7.5 million, a limited no-trade clause and a two-way option for the 2015 season at a salary of $17.5 million. If the O's want out of the extra season, they have to pay Markakis a $2 million buyout, but he also will have the option of becoming a free agent after 2014.

If you're wondering what an escalator clause is, it's an incentive structure that increases a player's salary for the remaining years of the contract if he achieves certain goals -- in this case, All-Star appearances. And, since Markakis may be the club's biggest star through the duration of his contract -- and there has to be at least one representative from every team -- he figures to make his share of All-Star teams.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 5:17 PM | | Comments (33)
Categories: Just baseball


All-Star Clause? That only means he's been the best player on the team for one half the season? How is tat incentive?

Kudos O's organization. I'm surprised there are no comments yet as the recent forums have bristled with negativity. It's easy to get caught up with that after all these long seasons, but this is one great move.

He is also a slow starter so I think there is a fair chance he misses some of them.

As for the face of the franchise, its Wieters, or at least it will be by 2011. In fact with Wieters on the team full time by 2010 Nick better hope the O's are good enough to earn more then one all star berth...

Escalator Clause?

I did detention duty last year (I ama high school teacher) and received an escalator clause payment of about $225.00, pro-rated because I started late in the semester.

Hey Pete, great info as usual...just finished reading an article by Keith Law on ESPN in which he gives overall organizational rankings for MLB. I was pleasantly surprised to see the O's at #10! Not bad for a team with no real infield prospects, huh? I know it is just one man's opinion, but at least it's a favorable one. We don't seem to get too many of those these days.

This is good news. The Orioles absolutely had to lock up Markakis even if it meant spending a little extra than normal for this type of contract.

Speaking of Brian Roberts, where are things there? What was the last(unofficial) offer from the O's? Do you think the Orioles have made him a fair market offer? Do you think Nick's extension might give Roberts confidence that the O's are heading in the right direction? What odds would you place on the O's signing Roberts to a new contract before spring training? Thanks

Pete's reply: My opinion, maybe 25 percent. Hope I'm wrong.

Hey Pete, some good news on the organizational front. ESPN's Keith Law ranked all the organizations minor leagues and the O's came in 10th. A huge improvement over past seasons, so some of MacPhail's moves are paying off at the minor league level. It isnt much, but at least a small ray of light.

Well, at least Andy & Peter A didn't lie to us. They will pay big money to their own players that have come out of our system. If you think about it, I have come to this conclusion, WHY PAY FOR FREE AGENTS, with the youngers we have coming, alot of this money is going to be for them, Maztu, Jones, Weiters, hopefully Roberts, Pie, Guthrie, Tillman. With are fan base doping in attendance, WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM??? In the Ripken days, Camden Yard was close to full every night, NOT just when Boston and New York came here. WHAT DO YA THINK PETE?

Pete's reply: The money comes from Comcast and the MLB central fund, along with gate receipts, which still are about $35 million.

This verifies that MacPhail has his priorities straight. It will be exciting to see the next crop of youngsters coming up to complement Nick, Adam et al. 2009 might not bring us a lot more W's, but the future is looking brighter!

Worth every cent, mm, mm, mmmm!

I've been here before in sayin' the O's should now try to get B-rob signed, give Wiggington ( sp? ) his 2 year deal, sign a lower profile starter, and ..... head south for the startup of spring training. It would be as much as we could hope for under the circumstances, and this next season could be just a bit more fun than what we're accustomed to.

Pete, ...thanks so much for the running dialogue on the O's. It's good stuff and keeps us on top of everything; It's greatly appreciated!!

Hi, my question doesn't have to do w/ this extension...however...
when writing the recent articles regarding the signing of gregg zaun why hasn't the Sun raised the point that zaun was mentioned in the mitchell report? there was cancelled check to rodamski from zaun. zaun has always denied his steriod usage. why has the team entrusted him to mentor our top prospect?

Pete's reply: I didn't remember that, but I doubt Zaun is going to corrupt Wieters. There's very strict steroid testing and Zaun never tested positive.

Peter - this proves the Birds can step up to the (financial) plate when they want to.

Now, what about Brian Roberts? Have the Orioles offered him similar terms and, if not, why not? If so, and Roberts refuses to sign, then we know he really wants out of Baltimore.

Another hole develops in the infield.

For me, I'm pessimistic and hope Andy is working on a trade.

Now they need to show some love to B-Rob!

Depending if they sign Roberts, this could be an outstanding off season for improvements.

Even if they don't sign him it has turned out way better than expected.

Now to the pitching...

It was the right thing to do, Markakis is the centerpiece of the rebuilding, he will be the face of the franchise for years to come.

Whew! Thank goodness the O's signed Markakis for 6 years, $66".1" million. For a second there, I thought they might be needing to check behind his right ear during his physical...

hey this was a nobrainer ,but why do you think they have no chance in sighning roberts? he still has at least five qualiy years lefy ,theres nobohy out there even close to him at leadoff and 2nd. . with that said if they sighn garland they will be able to throw a pitcher out there who throws 200plus innings every year .garland is only 30 and this also will give our younger pitchers more time to develop.

I want to say that I am glad that Markakis will have a place with the birds for a nice long time. So far, that's where our hitting magic is coming from.

At this point, I think the Orioles should do a "team rebuilding" much like the Ravens did this season, and look how close to the Super Bowl we got. Unfortunately, Peter Angelos is probably one of the worst sports team owners (not nearly as bad as Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders) living today. As long as he is driving the team in the ground, we won't be seeing a winning season soon. Though if Tampa Bay could go from the worst team in the AL to the World Series, I guess anything is possible, wouldn't you agree? Until then, I am not holding my breath for the O's just yet.

I agree whole heartedly with the changes Andy “Active” MacPhail has worked on for the past 18 months. I believe with one additional experienced starting pitcher (“SP”) we’ll have a chance to be competitive in 2009. In 2008 the club was solid in hitting, with a quality defense and bullpen. They pretty much played .500 ball until the middle of August, when they ran out of gas - endurance. Their SP rotation was the weakest link in the chain. Dave Trembley was even handed in dealing with the players, in addition he has an excellent baseball feel. The market conditions are in our favor to land a Braden Looper or equal quality SP. It has been a flurry of trades and changes – for the best, in my opinion.

Love the extension, as this is the way to do it: develop good, young players and sign them long term.

On the B Rob front, I always thought the Angels would come into play this winter, because they lost K Rod and ended up trading a very good young 1B for Tex, who turned out to be a rental. I've heard they are going to continue to try to win with speed, so the fact that they have young INFs to trade and a need to create runs, they could be a match.

Pete, do you know how many yrs. Brian wants and how much money? Are we talking Chase Utley money?

Pete's reply: All I really know is that Brian isn't interested in giving the Orioles a hometown discount...and that's if he decides he wants to stay.

BRob needs to accept the darn 10 mill a year and put the thing to rest.It's been an ugly black cloud over the team for 2 years now.

BTW...I hope Luke Scott isn't packing heat when Trembley tells him he's going to be the full time DH.:-)


Ahhhhh....stability in right field for years to come. Markaikis has one of the sweetest swings in MLB right now. His throwing arm is a cannon. He is a team kind of guy, sort of like the Orioles' version of Joe Flacco.
If the "education of Felix Pie" comes to fruition, we could conceivably have one of the most envied outfields in baseball within a year or two.
Every so often, Os fans are still proud to say we bleed orange and black. I'd say this is one of those days.

B-Rob- Great character. Solid player, but not nearly as valuable as Markakis. Please inform your readers that he does not deserve a similar deal to Nick. He's OBP is actually average for a leadoff guy and he's likely gonna lose his speed over the next few years. Trade him now to invest in the future.

Pete: Do you know anything about the deal that Roberts was offered?

Pete's reply: Not really.

take a look at the mitchell report again. zaun is in the mitchell report. there is a canceled check from zaun to rodomaski. this was when zaun was a member of the royals. zaun has always denied his steroid use.
this at least deserves a question from the media to the orioles about this.

I think in 2012 O's fans will look back at this move by MacPhail and see how important it was. The young talent is developing and this will give them incentive to know if they peform they will be compensated. We need to field a competitive team before we really have any shot at attracting the better outside talent via free agency. Just gotta stay the course for now with MacPhail's plan. GO O's!!

What money are the Orioles receiving from Comcast? Don't you mean MASN?

Pete's reply: No, Comcast. MASN is broadcast over other carriers. Comcast is the biggest and they raised their price to carry MASN. The O's/MASN get a fee for every subscriber every month. It's the biggest chunk of TV revenue in the mix.


I think we're all in accord with the Markakis extension as a step in the right direction. Who are you hearing the O's are trying to sign to round out their thin rotation? Also, any word on Wigginton? He's a scrappy underrated player who can play multiple positions and may warrant a two year deal.

Pete's reply: Not at the moment. I'm neading over to the Markakis press conference. Maybe there'll be some whispers. If I have anything like that, I put it right up. Wouldn't hold out on you.

Well I am sure he will have a real tough time hitting some of the incentives but I am sure he will not have to worry about getting meals at a soup kitchen in July.

Any rumblings about Roberts?

I gotta admit I was wrong - I said I didn't think Nick would sign but he did. That's a positive for the O's. Pete, I have to say I totally agree with your "O's MacPhail making moves, but his plans holding steady" column. You and I agree that Andy is moving things in a good direction, but fans can't expect that the O's will be challenging the Yanks and the Red Sox each year for the championship. The O's plan is to get to the middle of the pack and hope that the bigger (money) clubs have bad years once in a while. Biggest issue I think is not the big club, but the minors. I just don't see the instruction at the minor team level that should be there, especially with the pitchers. I go to a lot of the minor team games and I just don't see it. (Weiters played at Frederick like a man among boys, I'll tell ya that!) I'm thinking we have a .500 season in 2010, 2011 maybe 88-90 wins. Here's hoping. Charlie


I beleive AM defined a 2 year swoon in the the basement while building the organization when he described his plan 1 1/2 years ago. But I do beleive their was an indication we should be seeing some improvement this year (2009).

Like most of the fans I think from the roster I see we could challenge the 100 loss wall. MOST SPECIFICALLY WITH THE STARTING PITCHING. I think that they have exceeded the limits of time to trade B Rob for full value. They now need to sign him for a full value to be had. I am in the camp he should not be traded as he and Nick and Adam are the face of the organizations future.

So Andy needs to have a state of the organization. a frank statement about the expectations for this year , 2010 and 2011. Maybe a little adhearance to the BiscIotti method of meeting the fans with an informative commucation skill. Andy is some one that aspires to the CIA "Use many words to say nothing". I do beleive Andy is the person for the job. BUT he does lack in communication skills and acceptance of responsibity to the fans as well as the owners.

Now would be a good time with the signing of Markekis and spring training around the corner. Maybe some disheartened fans will give it one more year with and frank communication of what to expect, where are we in the plan and........ The fans are not sure what to make of the state of the franchise and the entertainent value demanded of their dollars spent. Andy needs to aspire to putting HOPE on the menu for the fans.

Pete's reply: I don't foresee a 100-loss year, but it could be another tough season. I'll probably predict about the same number of wins as last year (barring a late pitching acqusition that is significant enough to improve my outlook) because the defense should be much better and the pitching won't be as bad as advertised, because it's not possible to be as bad as people seem to think it will be.

Great news on Nickie, hope B-Rob follows! Robbie's such a good kid, let's hope he does the right thing and takes a fair deal.....good for everyone.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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