Orioles: Brian Roberts on new contract
Brian Roberts, as promised, spoke to the media minutes ago and basically confirmed that his four-year, $40 million contract extension is all but done. It's down now to getting back lab tests from his physical and holding the news conference tomorrow.
"Obviously, it's fairly close to done,'' he said. "I think we're all excited about the possibility it is where it is. It's a long process, but in the end both sides are happy."
Roberts (at right with manager Dave Trembley) clearly is relieved to be at the end of a multi-year process that nearly led to him being traded to the Chicago Cubs before spring training a year ago. He had made it clear that he wanted to get something done quickly this spring and team officials obviously felt the same way.
"It'll be a relief at some point,'' he said, "but if something hadn't worked out, I'd still go out and play. If it works out the way we want it to, it's great for me and my family. It's something we put a lot of time and effort into on both sides."
For fans who are interpreting this as an endorsement of the Orioles' rebuilding plan, Roberts said that's a fair interpretation.
"I don't think I would have made the commitment to begin negotiations if I didn't think in the course of the process over the next four or five years, we would have a chance to win. It's not going to be easy. It's never easy in this division, but we've seen Tampa Bay do it."
Another thing that clearly had an impact on Roberts was the club's ability to sign teammate Nick Markakis to a six-year, $66.1 million extension.
"To see that commitment to him for six years is great,'' Roberts said. "He's somebody who's going to be here for a long time. If I get to play the rest of my career here, I hope he's the next guy to do that."
Sun photo by Doug Kapustin