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January 3, 2009

Orioles: Roberts/Floyd speculation

I've waited a respectable amount of time before commenting on the report that the Orioles and White Sox have talked about a deal involving Brian Roberts and Gavin Floyd. That's not because I don't believe that those conversations occurred. Roch Kubatko reported it in his blog at and I don't have any corroborating information, so it was only fair to let him go to town with it.

If there turns out to be any fire under that smoke, I'd be all for it. It's becoming more and more apparent that Brian wants to go somewhere he can win sooner rather than later, and the Orioles need starting pitchers. Floyd is coming off a 17-win season and he's another local guy, which magnifies the attraction.

Still, all the talk that the Orioles need to get somebody else in the deal is a little far-fetched. Even if you don't like the stats underneath Floyd's won-loss record, he's a former high first-round draft choice who won 17 games for a good team while Roberts -- barring a quick contract extension -- can only be valued as a one-year rental. If I'm the White Sox, I don't make that deal straight up. I also need a prospect and a decent one at that. If the O's want an infielder, then it would have to be expanded further.

Now, for the really bad news. Even if those talks were very advanced, the deal would remain a longshot because of the contract considerations. The White Sox still would have to have some real hope of re-signing Roberts to make the trade, which means they'd probably want a window to try and get him to sign long-term or some future consideration if he doesn't. That kind of thing gets done once in a great while, but it's very complicated so the deal almost always evaporates.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 12:15 PM | | Comments (73)
Categories: Just baseball


In an article you wrote recently, the headline was "Hendrickson signing shouldn't cause O's fans to reach height of frustration"

At what point would you say O's fans should you think it reasonable to reach the height of frustration? This is not a question being sarcastic.

By the way, I honestly believe that USC would not have gone 0-16 in the NFL. Size and speed of the players taken into account. They have 7 players that might be drafted in the first two rounds.

Pete's reply: I think O's fans probably have already hit the height of their frustration. As for your other comment, I'm a huge Trojan fan, but I believe they would have gone 0-16 in the NFL. It's just a different game, but it's an interesting hypothetical.

Roberts is a Type A free agent. If he leaves and signs with a winner like he wants then whichever team he was on will get 2 top 50 Draft Picks. Is Floyd worth 2 top 50 draft picks? A guy with a career 4.98 ERA and thats after a 3.84 ERA season.

He is from the area but he is not a .300 30 120 guy. And those get butts in the seats.

i think roberts for floyd would be a good trade for the orioles. floyd is 26. was 17-8 3.84 era twice as many k's to walks in his first full yr. starting. i guess freel would play 2nd considering the orioles have no 2nd baseman in the minors. i could see adam jones as a leadoff hitter. speed, pop in the bat.


Great article today on the O's, the only question I have is knowing we were the LOW bidder on Tex, maybe the $140 wasn't really available at all, just more posturing. I'm from the conspiracy theory school and believe were just filling the holes with warm bodies. Fans are little more astute that that and we don't just turn a switch on or off when we will support a team. Peter Angelos and Andy McHail have taken a calculated risk, but my guess is attendance figures less than 1.5 Million!

Pete's reply: I can't deny that possibility, but if Tex wanted to come here, he would have accepted that offer and the O's would have had to back out, which I guess was possible.

I wonder what Markakis would be offered if he were a free agent this offseason. I know it seems risky, but isn't he better off just going through arbitration (and getting big, big raises in the process) and then hitting free agency in 3 years? By then he'll likely be able to obtain a deal well over $100 million. I know its risky, and with most clubs, players don't take the risk. But this is the Orioles. At this point, what non-monetary reason does Nick have for wanting to sign a 6 year deal with Baltimore? I doubt he wants to get stuck like that. So sad.

Pete's reply: If he's willilng to gamble $65 million on the likelihood of staying healthy for three years and putting up great numbers all three years, I'll admire his nerve. I think he signs in a few weeks.

I think that a dark horse in the Roberts situation could be the Philadelphia Phillies. Chase Utley's hip surgery will keep him out until at least June and I have seen some reports that his injury could be similar to the that ended Bo Jackson's carrer{s}.

Robert's gets to play for the defending world champs and the Phillies send us some pitching.

What do you think of that scenario, Pete?

Pete's reply: Haven't heard that, but nothing would surprise me at this point.

Pete, as always, I appreciate and respect your honest and straight-forward opinion on this one (Roberts/Floyd rumor). That said, I do respectfully disagree that we wouldn't be justified in seeking at least one other player in such a trade. The bottom line here is that we would be trading not only our best overall player (and most popular), but one of the very best second baseman and lead-off hitters in all of baseball, for a pitcher who has only had one decent (and over-valued) year in the bigs! Yeah, I like Floyd and would be happy to see him with the O's, but not at the cost of Roberts. And the logic that because Roberts is a one-year rental we should therefore be thankful to get Floyd and not seek more, doesn't hold, because you've mentioned that the ChiSox would conditionally seek an opportunity to negotiate an extension with Roberts, which would thus negate the "one-year rental" disadvantage. Please Andy, don't give Roberts away. PS - what an embarassment that our off-season has produced the likes of Izturis, Freel, and Hendrickson (can't make starter #5 on any other team, but he'll be our #2!), when our rivals got Tex, CC, etc. Why can't we at least pursue Dunn, Wolf, etc??

Thanks for that Masn plug. I had no idea they had a website. I'll take all the local sports info I can get. I'm a big O's fan but with them, I've chosen to take the wait and see approach rather then becoming upset at every move they make or don't make. BTW, I have the Ravens crushing the Dolphins and "Me"Gahee running wild in the M.I.A.

When you say that "it's becoming more and more apparent" that Roberts won't sign an extension, is based on the fact that he has yet to sign an extension -- or that an offer was made and he rejected it? If it's the latter, what was the offer?

Pete's reply: It's based on the knowledge that there has been little meaningful progress toward a deal and time is running short.

Pete - Do you no if Roberts has any 'no-trade' clauses in his current contract? Do you think the Orioles could get more for him waiting until the trade deadline? (I realize this would be speculative depending on other teams needs for a 2b and a gamble in case Roberts got hurt prior). Thanks for your insights.

The White Sox, if they should trade for Roberts, but fail to sign him long term, wouls till get two high compensation picks. So, it's not as simple as they get only one year of Roberts.

I'd take the deal as well. The orioles need assets and this is something they should do. I also don't realize why in a down year for free agents they don't get more agressive signing guys that project well over the next 3-4 years. As the prospects mature, you trade away the guy that may be blocking them for more prospects and continue to add depth. Buy low and sell high. Same principle as the stock market. There will less people available next year and greater demand meaning salaries probably won't be depressed for free agents for that long.

Hopefully, if this rumor has legs, we can leave that hometown krap out of it because as we all know, it worked really well last time......

As much as I like Roberts getting Floyd would be a steal. And if MacPhail is really dedicated to winning in 2010 Roberts could re-sign.

Brian Roberts is one of the best leadoff hitters in the game and there's no one who plays a better second base. The Orioles need to stop copulating around and wrap him up for about 5 years. He's the kind of player who is going to still be good well into his late 30's.... His latest adjustment came in 2008 when he consciously and purposefully worked specifically to improve his hitting from the right side and did.
We have terrific pitching in the system right now.
On the other hand there is no second baseman or leadoff hitter in the system who has anything bearing the slightest resemblance to a Brian Roberts.

I think you just peed on my enthusiasm.

would the sox make that trade now given the loss of vasquez - how's their rotation looking? still solid w/o floyd?

on the other hand, they don't have much in the way of experience at 2b - roberts would be an upgrade for them.

anyway, I agree with you peter - you make that trade in a minute if you are the O's, which means perhaps you don't if you are chicago.

tangent: would floyd be any more likely than roberts or texeria to sign with the O's long term?

Pete's reply: I would think so, since he has only had the one big season.

If the Orioles lose out on the Mark Texeira sweepstakes.....and can't resign Brian Roberts or Nick Markakis.......that is weak.

Interesting that an All-Star 2B would be valued similarly to a number 3 starter. I guess it's mostly about Floyd's age and (I know this is a scary word for O's fans) potential, than about actual stats on the ground.

I agree we need more pitching, and I think the O's could live through losing Roberts, but are we looking at a skinnier, more well behaved version of Sir Sid circa 2003?

Pete's reply: The reason is because Roberts is one year away from free agency. If he was under a decent contract for four or five years, he would command more.

Peter...I was wondering what, if anything, was known about Erik Bedard and his contract status with the Mariners. Earlier in the offseason, I read that he might get non-tendered or released outright making him potentially available for us to resign. Is this viable or being looked into at all? There's no downside to signing him as far as I can see. We already received the many pieces for him in trade and if he came back even close to what he was, we wind up with a potential ace in a low cost, low risk deal. Any news would be appreciated.

Pete's reply: The M's did tender him a contract and probably will go to arbitration with him. He's still eligible to become a free agent after the season.

Peter...I was wondering what, if anything, was known about Erik Bedard and his contract status with the Mariners. Earlier in the offseason, I read that he might get non-tendered or released outright making him potentially available for us to resign. Is this viable or being looked into at all? There's no downside to signing him as far as I can see. We already received the many pieces for him in trade and if he came back even close to what he was, we wind up with a potential ace in a low cost, low risk deal. As warm bodies go, I'd MUCH rather see if Bedard can be what he was for us again than throw Hendrikson or Olsen out there. Any news would be appreciated.

Yes! Not only is Floyd from MD, but he is young and good! And a pitcher!

I just hope we can get him. A #2 or #3 starter for sure.

Enough with these spoiled Severna Park kids. The Orioles need some real hometown heroes. How hard is it to find a good southpaw in Pigtown?


If the Roberts/Floyd trade were to go through what do you think about the O's signing Orlando Hudson to replace him. He's got a great glove and decent speed

I would do this trade straight up with no other preconditions. I can't believe the Sox would do it this way though with Roberts contract situation. The O's can then get Orlando Hudson.


It is difficult for me to believe that the
Orioles have a plan for the future when they are seriously considering trading one of the best lead off hitters in the major leagues. Only the Orioles would try to solve a problem at shortstop and then create one at second base. Where is the logic? There is always a magic elixir that will cure a players desire from going elsewhere: MONEY and lots of it. The organization needs to realize that to let Brian Roberts go is a public relations disaster and a further indication that the Orioles have become the Pittsburg Pirates east.

I say pull the trigger if this deal is possible. I love Brian Roberts and everything he has done here in Baltimore, but if I've learned everything, this is still a league that wins with pitching and defense ie. Twins, A's, Rays, White Sox. I played against Floyd in high school and it just wasn't fair. Place him in this rotation and the ripple effect creates a huge amount of stability throughout the organization. I love Roberts, but it may be better for both parties if this deal happens.

What is the chance that the Orioles could trade Roberts to the Cubs and get a package that includes Sean Marshall, a 6'7" lefty from Richmond, Va., Felix Pie to add to the young strong outfield with Jones and Markakis, and Fontenot. I believe Mike Fontenot was a 1st round draft pick of the O's and he actually had better numbers than BRob last season and is younger.

Pete's reply: I don't know whether anything is going on with the Cubs right now.

What is the chance that the Orioles could trade Roberts to the Cubs and get a package that includes Sean Marshall, a 6'7" lefty from Richmond, Va., Felix Pie to add to the young strong outfield with Jones and Markakis, and Fontenot. I believe Mike Fontenot was a 1st round draft pick of the O's and he actually had better numbers than BRob last season and is younger.


The Orioles need to get what they can now for Roberts - he has suffered enough losing. It is obvious he is not staying in Baltimore.

Wouldn't it be smart for Markakis to sign say a 3-year 30 million dollar deal, get his years in and then go to the Yankees or Red Sox at top dollar?

Pete's reply: Might be smart for him, but not for the Orioles. They can pay him less than $4 million in arbitration this year, $7 million next year and maybe $10 million the year before free agency. That's nearly $10 million cheaper than $30 million for three with no guaranteed risk. The reason to sign him for big money is to lock him up for three or four years beyond his arbitration years.


I like this trade but I doubt the White Sox will give us Floyd straight up for Roberts. As you stated Floyd has a lot of potential and has number one type starter stuff. He had two no hitters into the eight inning last year and was known as a big game pitcher/stopper. I would even through in Olsen if that's what it takes to get Getz. I know a lot of fans won't be happy with this but Roberts wants to play for a winner and the White Sox are closer then us and in a very winnable division. This is probably all just useless speculation though because I doubt it will happen.

In an article you wrote recently, the headline was "Hendrickson signing shouldn't cause O's fans to reach height of frustration", I believe this is the second time you haven't written something expressing this same point.

It seems YOU are just not getting it. Its not Hendrickson himself that is putting fans over the edge. We are not stupid, we get that the Os need to fill roster spots. Its the fact that Hendrickson is ALL we are getting. We have a starting rotation that includes...Guthrie. We have no first baseman, no catcher, we are about 3 deep in the outfield, and the only talk we hear is that the Os are only interested/in the hunt for guys of the level/caliber of Hendrickson (i.e Redding, Zaun, etc.). It has gotten old and you should understand that.

Stop trying to tell us what we should feel and please don't portray us as naive.

Pete's reply: Have you considered the possibility I might be doing this just to irritate you?

Make the trade !!!!!!!, he is gone after this year, if we can also get Chis Getz really make the trade !!!!!!!!!

I hope Brian gets the chance to play for a winner and that aint here !!!!!!!!!!!

The home of the never ending ground hog day plan from he!!

Greed will get one every time. My prediction is that the," babe in the woods --Texeira," will succumb to the tempations in NYC and will wind up with some doll--divorce his wife & lose half of his money to her. With his $$ he already has many babes -in-waiting, with their eyes on him and his money. He will not know what hit him.

Pete, remember now, we did not get Tex nor CC etc.and we did not get a major league player yet --but, the O's did get new uniforms. Maybe, they can stay in a Holiday Inn Express.

Who is this turkey we got to play SS? He can't run and he can't hit. The minors are loaded with good field -no hit guys. Why do we need him. WE NEED A BAT!!! from somewhere.

Hey Pete,

Any ideas why the team wouldn't want to invest in a pitcher such as Oliver Perez. I know he has had his ups and downs, but he is only 27 and would seem to be a guy that could still be around when some young prospects like Tillman, Arrieta, Matusz, etc work their way up to the bigs.

Perez is another big potential player, but he is coming into his prime as a pitcher so might be worth a look in my opinion.

Pete's reply: Haven't heard much about him, but I think the pitching market is still developing, so anything is possible.

Pete, do you know if Kenny and Andy read the comments too? I had posted under your post on the DeRosa trade that the Sox could be the real suitor and just a couple days later, look what happens! I know, it seems really good to be right, but I was just playing the percentages... a team that wants speed and athleticism, and has second base open too.

Sox looking to sell high on Floyd and Andy should know he got hammered by the AL East... except for the O's.

Two questions:

If you could play GM in this situation and wanted to help both teams, who would you pick to ship out from the southside?


Do you contact guys at the Trib here in Chicago for sources/ideas/advice when trade talks ensue... same for other cities?

Pete's reply: I would happily take Floyd for Roberts if the O's are sure they can't sign BRob. I'll take everybody else's word for it on Getz, but I don't think the Orioles get the extra player. Might be the other way around. My gut feeling is that this is all academic anyway. Too complicated. As for conferring with other writers...yes, that happens sometimes, but I haven't been in touch with anyone in Chicago this weekend.

1) What does Markakis likely get paid in the short term if he refuses to sign a long-term extension?

2) What is the likelihood of Markakis signing an extension with an "out" clause so he can exist after three years if the Os are still headed nowhere?

Pete's reply: I think Markakis gets about $4 million tops in arbitration this year. There is no chance of an out clause because that would defeat the purpose of signing him long-term. If they give him $10 million a year for the years he would not make nearly that much under reserve, it would be silly to set it up so he can get out. The whole point of signing him is to lock him up for six years.

Most people seem to accept in theory that the best way to build success for a mid-market team is by the draft. However, most people don't like to think about the central element of this method.
the key element to building through the draft is getting very high draft picks. The way to get high draft picks is to lose.
You must continue to lose until the talent you have stocked in your farm system begins to reach the major league level, and produce at a high level. Then you can fill in the gaps with some high priced free agents.
The problem in bringing in high caliber expensive free agents before then isn't the cost. It is the risk of becoming a 500 team, getting only mid-level draft picks, and staying at a level of mediocrity.
In the meantime, everyone needs to regard their team just like New York used to regard the Mets. Identify with the players as normal people, celebrate their obvious flaws, and be glad that the future will be bright for the tribulations of the present. Where are you now, Marv Throneberry?

Trading Roberts is foolish. A lead off hitter is the hardest guy in the lineup to replace. This organization is a joke. Floyd had one so-so year. There have been no talks about Ben Sheets who is the best free agent pitcher on the market.

Pete's reply: Since no one knows for sure that there is anything serious going on here, it seems rather specious to say the organization is a joke because there's a rumor out there. Let's wait and see what happens.

I wouldn't trade Roberts straight-up for Floyd. They would be getting one year of maybe the best lead-off hitter in the game at the very least. Most likely they would sign him to an extension and have him longer. If they don't they'll probably end up with an additional 1st round pick and a sandwich 1st round pick. Thats worth more than Floyd who has had one good year and struggled prior to that. We would need to get at least someone like Getz as well. Those draft picks would be highly valuable to this team at this point in time so we need to get something back for what we could have had. Roberts is a proven all-star, Floyd is not, and even if he is a one year rental, those draft picks we'd be essentially passing to the Sox would be reason enough to ask for a little more.

Whoever said that USC would win a game in the NFL should not be allowed to watch the NFL ever again. Clearly you don't understand the size and speed of ALL NFL players. Do you think an NFL team would lose to Oregon State? USC did. Give me a break. I hate when people pose that question.

Pete's reply: I guess if you had to pose that question, USC would be the only college team that you could even imagine being competitive because they put about eight guys into the NFL every year. However, what people don't take into account is that virtually every player in the NFL was an outstanding college player and -- in most cases -- they're bigger and much better than they were in college. And, I repeat, USC would go 0-16 in the NFL, even if the Trojans played in the same division as the Lions.

People criticize the Orioles for even considering trading Roberts. The guy wouldn't sign an extension;why are the O's being blamed for looking into trades if indeed they are? What are they supposed to do?

It doesn't matter what a great lead-off hitter he is, or the fact that they have nothing to replace him or the fact that trading him w/b a public relations disaster. If the guy won't extend here, none of that matters.

I love Brain Roberts. But getting Gavin Floyd? Make that trade.

And then sign Jon Garland.

Guthrie, Floyd, Garland...that would be real nice Bird chirping.

I am amazed at the short memories that a lot of fans have (not all). The O's have 11 straight losing seasons, yet some of our players are untouchable? This team doesn't have one untouchable player. I love Brian, as much as the next fan, but if we have a shot at a pitcher like Gavin Floyd, take it! Brian can be replaced. This might sound harsh, but we haven't won with Brian. This isn't his fault, as a lot of great players play their whole careers with bad teams. Floyd played on a really good team in a hitters ballpark and he had success. Take Floyd and put him with Guthrie, add Looper or Byrd or some serviceable #3 starter and this Orioles ball club in 2009, is night and day from the 08 model with a real shot at a winning season.

There are veteran 2B out there and yes, they wont steal 40-50 times or hit 50 doubles or probably be as charitable as Brian, but if they are playing behind real starting pitchers, as long as they can field, the O's will be an entirely different team. You can't compete without SPs. I am sorry, but without guys who can make it past at least 5 innings, the BP will burn up AGAIN.

To the Andy haters: how did you like it when Albers got hurt and we couldn't replace a long man in the pen? Think about it, one guy goes down and he isn't even a starter and the season turns really bad. My point, grab every pitcher with a pulse and bring them to FL and the ones that don't make the team, send them to the minors, because this team needs depth at all levels and that is what Andy is trying to do, so the guys they are signing wont lift season tix sales or sell jerseys, but if someone goes down, hopefully one of these guys can step up. We aren't good enough to turn our noses up at any pitcher or position player at this point.

If Roberts would sign long term I'd keep him, but since it doesn't look like he will, I'd make the deal for Floyd. His numbers last year were very comparable to Guthrie's. Not a bad one/two if he's for real. The ugly numbers he put up in earlier years happened at a awfully young age.

First of all b-rob hates the Peter,Angelos and now that Aj or tex dident sigh with the orioles he wants out if and you kno wut if b-rob leaves the orioles wont win. The only team i kno that has a every day 2b besides the orioles is the yankees and rsox if the orioles trade anybody it sould be Huff hes comming off a good year and you get a cuple prospects for him and then go out and sigh ex phill pat bur, and then brian will be happy and one other thing whay dosent the orioles spend a cuple $ and get ben sheets he comming off a bad year and you can probly get him cheap thats better then a guy who cant even stand on the mound with out falling. the orioles a dumb the worst deal in the last 10years ive seen the orioles make has to be the kris benson deal he blows #1 #2 john main was probly the the 2nd best pitcher on that staff. the orioles cant win if there stupid owner wont let them win.


Obviously, the signing of Hendrickson gives MacPhail more flexiblity to trade. I dont think the white Sox will trade Gavin. They already traded Vazquez and Conteras wont be available until July. But they might trade John Danks for Roberts if they could get a starter with major league experience in return. But I'm sure the Orioles would want Getz and maybe another player or two.

What good is a leadoff hitter however great on a losing team with no pitching?

Why can't we sign Pat Burrell. If we were going to sign Tex. Try to platoon him in left and Dh. It would help make fans happy since he is sorta of local playing in Philly. He could bridge team thru 2010 and beyond. Then get a good pitcher from free agency. Saying we were serious about winning. Bob

I'm glad you see the light regarding college vs. pro teams, Pete!

In your dreams the Sox trade Floyd for Roberts. The Sox are in need of a quality leadoff hitter. I just don't see Ken Williams in an act of desperation trading arguably the staff leader straight up with the starting rotation not locked in for 09. Go Sox!

By saying, all the talk that the Orioles need to get somebody else in the deal is a little far-fetched.

Pete, you sound bitter that Rich scooped you and you are trying to spin this news as unrealistic.

It's not far-fetched. Floyd doesn't have a proven track record. He has one year of success and only two years until he hits free agency. Have you taken a look at his ERA?

Floyd is a quality pitcher. But, he doesn't have the stock that Bedard had once or that Peavy has now.

I don't know why I spend my time reading your blog or articles at this second rate newspaper. Try earning your salary by doing some legit reporting with quality writing...ala Washington Post Sports.

Pete's reply: If I was bitter, I would have ignored it. This is a blog, not a hard news site. I thought I was giving Roch a plug there. The fact that I think deals involving pending free agents are complicated and unlikely is no reflection of my opinion of that rumored deal. I would love to see it happen, but it's hard to complete that kind of deal.

Hey Peter here is an Idea......Just state the facts....Never I mean absolutely a Never write you're opinion because all it does is make everyone in the area hate you. You are the biggest Schmuck ever. I want Roch back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pete's reply: Hey Steve, if you want to delude yourself and believe everything you want to believe regardless of the facts and probabilities, you're at the wrong blog. I really don't want anyone here who is too immature or insecure to handle the truth (or an opinion) when it isn't what he wants to hear.

The Sox are thin at pitching and have about four second basemen. This trade is just a rumor. It will never happen. The Sox need pitching.

Birdland Todd,

Hello, there are pitchers available in Free Agency, right now that can help the O's! Spending just a little money will do that. Why give up arguably our best player, our igniter for a guy who goes 6 innings once a week! The point with Brian is simple and like most of the fans on this blog, where is the team's committment? They have NONE! First it was BJ Ryan, now Brob and soon maybe Nick! We neither reinvest in the on-field product nor do we take care of our own home raised talent. I'm certain, Scott Boras is already figuring out how he can get Matt Wieters out of Baltimore! The future begins now if we are ever to be taken seriously to free agents, agents of free agents and our very own talent pool! While the O's had a terrible record last year they scored more runs that two teams in the playoffs! McPhail has a plan, yeah heard that a lot here, but what your not being told is that Peter the Great has a plan too and it's called making money! Andy's plan and Peter's plan are not mutually exclusive either. So let's trade Roberts, Huff, Guthrie and Nick now and just get it over with! Our front office is CLUELESS about taking care of their current players, and particular the people they expect to be paying to watch a AAA team!

B-Rob is more valuable than Gavin to the O's. Gavin's be around and had one good year. Not gonna bite on that offer.
Seems Brian is more valuable to loose to free-agency than getting A guy that had a career year.

why do people think that PA looking to make money and being competitive are at odds with one another? Spending money poorly is at odds with both. Name a pitcher out in the Free Agancy market that the O's won't have to Over pay for?

"...Peter the Great has a plan too and it's called making money! Andy's plan and Peter's plan are not mutually exclusive either. So let's trade Roberts, Huff, Guthrie and Nick now and just get it over with! Our front office is CLUELESS about taking care of their current players, and particular the people they expect to be paying to watch a AAA team!"

What sports team owner is not in it to make money? Sure the Yankees spend a ton of money, but you can be sure that is because they rake in more than they spend. That would be could profit.

MacPhail has approached Roberts about an extension and I haven't heard anything from Roberts other than he wants to wait and see what the Orioles do. MacPhail can't hold a gnu to his head and tell him to sign.

MacPhail offered Markakis a 6 year,, $60 million contract and Markakis' agent said, "No thanks, we want to wait and see what the free agent market looks like for outfielders and what other young stars are signing for with their teams." Again, MacPhail made the offer.

They aren't clueless. If my Mother didn't teach me better, I would make another comment about who is clueless.

Trading Huff, if anyone wants him, would be a smart move. He had a career year after four mediocre ones by his previous standard. At age 32, he is more likely to regress than progress and repeat his 2008 season. He is strictly a DH that will be forced to play 1b for the Orioles, and at $8 million he is not a relative bargain. Especially if he reverts to a .260-.270 hitter with 15-20HR.

Trading Roberts makes a lot of sense, especially if he doesn't want to stay here. He has said it every year now for the past three years at least. He wants to win. Is that going to happen while Roberts is still in the prime of his career? No. There is a good chance his numbers will drop off tremendously by age 33-34. Without having a set pitching staff and a team that will need a new 1b, 2b, and SS within the next two years, do you want a bloated contract to an underperforming player? I thought that is what got us into this current mess?


Class act with the MASN mention.

I agree with the Roberts needing to sign an extension plus the deal would have to be expanded to include an O's pitching prospect.

I also agree that it is too early as there are a few good pitchers on the free agent market that may lesson the value of Floyd, though just marginally.

With the lack of infield prospects I would think it is in the O's best interest to let him walk and get the draft picks for him. Unless another infielder comes over then 2B is just another hole that needs filled and Freel seems better suited in a platoon role, particularly in the outfield.

A staff of Arrieta, Tillman, Matusz and Floyd does sound good if there is anyone behind them who can field the ball when it is hit.

Mythical One,

Appropriate name with appropriate thoughts. Managing player personnel doesn't start by turning on a switch or throwing excessive $$$ at overaged player for over-extended periods. Brian Roberts hasn't signed, not because of Baltimore, but because of the Orioles lack of committment to winning. Nick's thinking is certainly the same at this juncture. One year the O's sign Miggy, Javy and an old Raffy only to tell them we are committed to winning and we followed that up with?????? NOTHING! Now free agents and agents see us for what we are CHEAP. Not every free agent signing is for too much for too long, thats what our leaderhip is getting paid to determine, this isn't even about winning, it's about being competitive in the market, not a laughing stock!

As far as making money yes, that is the general principle in business, however the Orioles are an entertainment product, and entertaining is an important aspect of getting butts in seats as another blogger so aptly pointed out! In a bad economy declining numbers are going to continue to come and pay MLB prices to see another inferior product, (please see attendance numbers the last 3 years)! The novelty of Camden Yards has passed, now fans want to see a competitive organization on the field. Get the thought here, competitive, the fans, the free agents, the agents of the free agents. MASN money, Salary cap excise tax money, declining payroll of $40M annually and where is the reinvestment? Hendrickson, Rule V picks, a utility infielder and a no hit SS? Put a product on the field worth coming to see, a product that indicates as an organization they are committed to success, maybe not a divisional series or the playoffs, merely competivie. Is that too much to ask? I no problems trading Brian Roberts nor can I blame him for being put in such a position. All of my blame to this point in the off-season lies squarely on one mans head, Peter Angelos! Looper, Sexon and Byrd aren't the solution either, Dunn, Garland and Perez are youthful enough and have demonstrated success and worth taking a chance with! But step off your band box for one second and tell me that 2 million people will pay to come see the current roster play! That opening day won't be Yankee Stadium south! Enough said!

Keith, I am not sure how you can honestly say that the O's don't want to commit to Nick. They offered 60 mil for 6 years. Let's stop using low balling our players when it's not true. As far as the free agent SPs out there, which ones should we get? I've seen Lowe pitch a lot over his career and I would love him to come here, but no way at this stage of his career, does he come to a team that isn't close to being a World Series contender. I do think guys like Looper and Byrd could help, but Sheets scares the heck out of me, as he is always hurt, so I don't see anyone that you can honestly build your staff around.

Pete has been around the club more than any of us, so he would know better, but for the entire 2008 campaign (especially when we were winning and making the great comebacks) it seemed like Brian really wasn't all the happy or celebrated with his teammates like Scott, Millar, Huff, Markakis and Mora. I think Brian loves the area, but doesn't want to play here. I am not sure how Andy is at fault? Commitment means two people are willing to work together and if Andy senses that Brian doesn't want to stay, why keep him since he is our most valuable commodity to trade? Brian also has been playing this "should I stay or should I go" game for the past 2-3 years, so how about putting some pressure on Brian to make up his mind or is it just easier to blame Andy for everything?

Birdland Todd,

Please refrain from putting words in my mouth, I have not beat up AM, but PA

I think the Roberts/Floyd trade goes with the MacPhail plan and it's a plan that gives the O's the best chance to win. I also think Floyd has a higher ceiling than almost all of the O's current pitching because of his age, size and durability(26 in a month, 6'5"-230, 200+ip).
Bedard had his breakthrough season at 28 but didn't have the size, mlb experience or durability that Floyd has. O's need to bridge the gap between the current and baby birds and Floyd with his contract situation would serve that purpose and also be around for the fruition of this plan.
I think this trade is only a gamble for the O's if they really believe they can re-sign Roberts which all media forums believe they can't. I'm a bit of a homer when it comes to keeping Roberts but I think he deserves to be on an immediate contender given all the suffering he's endured through every August and September he's been up here(since '01). If the O's make this happen as well as getting the Japanese pitcher, they would have a respectable staff that would fare well against most non yankee and red sock lineups.

Also, it would be nice for a change to NOT be down five runs in the bottom of the first at Camden yards because of four walks, two hits and maybe two wild pitches. We've already taken care of the 2+ passed balls.

Pete, Pardon me for nitpicking, but I take exception in a rhetorical sense to the "height of frustration" used in your article's headline.

For me, it would be the height of optimism or the depths of depression, but frustration is more like being stuck on a treadmill or, better, on a decade of bad roads.

However you want to phrase it, I hope we can get out of this "Groundhog Day" endless loop, 'cause it's getting way old.

$60 mil for 6 years is a lot of money to me and most others, but it is a low ball for a prize player on a poor team. That is not the kind of money that will convince Markakis to avoid arbitration.

Birdland Todd,

I can't personally tell you what Nick was offered, it has been reported numbers such as you indicate, but the O's have history but that's an arguement for another day. We have four spots open in our rotaton, quality starting pitching isn't cheap and much of what is out there is certainly questionable, that's what incentive laden contracts are all about. Regardless most if not all of it is better than our baby birds, it's actually all about fair market value, if the going rate is the going rate, and you want fans to pay the going rate at the game, do we get a discount at the gate? I don't think so! Pete does a great job on this blog, but as much as I like his thoughts and writing, I didn't know writing a blog was anything other than someones opinion and in some cases his and mine are not the same, the worlds funny like that. Brian is the face of the organization, and the engine that makes us run. If he won't sign he needs to be traded, my point was there is a reason he won't sign, and Nick is contemplating signing, where is this club going where is the committment? Brian saw what happened to BJ Ryan, I'm sure Miggie told him they were supposed to follow-up Miggies signing with more talent that never happened! I would NEVER want someone who didn't want to be in Baltimore, that's why when Tex went elsewhere, it fell off my radar screen, EXCEPT for the fact that once again the O's were the low-bidder, for the guy they regretted not drafting, the guy they were waiting for to become a free agent, a middle of the order, YOUNG, Gold glove firstbasemen which is a postiion of need that the 102 loss Nationals outbid us for. It all comes down to $$$ and the only one I see getting rich is PA!

Can't say I blame Roberts for wanting to play for a winner. You see, outside of Baltimore, teams actually try to win. Players want to win. It's a foreign concept here, but trust me, this is how most other teams do things. I'm sure the failure to land Teixeira or a front of the rotation starter, the acquisition of Hendrickson, Izturis, and Freel should be proof enough where this team is headed.

They're going to tank 2009 in the hopes that their young prospects will arrive and become the saviors in 2010. What I don't hear anybody saying is what happens if Matusz and Tillman and all the others either get hurt or turn out to not be as good as advertised. It wouldn't be the first time the Angelosers overestimated a young player's talents. So what then? Do they continue throwing seasons away and proclaim the next batch of prospects to be the saviors? How many losing seasons have to come & go before we see some real effort being made to improve the team?

I haven't even taken down the Christmas tree and the Orioles have already thrown in the towel on 2009. How can Roberts and Markakis be expected to sign contract extensions when they see the front office giving up in early January?

Pete - I agree on your story about Hendickson. O's fans shouldn't be let down only due to the timing of the signing just after losing out on Tex. Hendickson's signing is part of "The Plan" which has been getting high marks from O's fans and others around baseball. Verducci on is touting the arrival of Wieters, and other O's prospects are getting attention as well.

The AL East CAN be won. The O's CAN thrive and survive in this division. It is going to take time to un-do 11 years of letting this organization atrophy. I can point to as many reasons to sign Tex as not to, but Baltimore needs to become an attractive destination for free agents. We're not there just yet.

we are spoiled severna park kids?

Pete's reply: I know I am.


Outstanding, I couldn't agree more! The Front Office isn't convincing anyone, fans, free agents that Baltimore is worth watching or worth coming to play for! How long can this front office continue to take advantage of it's fans and it's players! I'm with you here my friend!

Trade Roberts for Floyd, sign Orlando Hudson to play second.

In my opinion, the White Sox better sweeten the pot with at least one more, preferably 2, players if they expect to get Roberts. Floyd has only had one good year, don't forget that Sir Syd won 17 games once upon a time.
Roberts is a prven commodity who brings a lot to the table-speed, defense and ability to hit for average and even some pop. He's also been pretty healthy and at 31, can likely be productive for another 5-6 years.

Pete's reply: I don't know if there's really a pot to sweeten. The rumor was only that the two names came up at some point.

How about a trade with the Cubs ? fonteno second base Marshall pitcher , Hill pitcher , Pie outfield , and maybe one young arm from the DeRosa trade ?

Been hearing McPhail and Jim Hendry from the Cubs are talking again about Brian Roberts . Any rumors ?

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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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