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February 17, 2009

Orioles: Roberts arrives (updated)

brianswinggetty.jpgOrioles second baseman Brian Roberts (left) has arrived in camp and quickly deflected questions about his contract negotiations, saying that he won't have anything to say on the subject until Thursday, the day of the first full-squad workout.

Conclude from that anything you want, but I'm going to interpret that to mean the team and Brian are trying to get something done in the next 48 hours.

When I asked Andy MacPhail about the situation earlier today, he didn't have too much to say, except that the club and Brian's agent (Mark Pieper) are talking and "narrowing the gap." Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but Andy -- who seldom tips his hand -- seemed fairly optimistic.

I'm starting to think this gets done, but I've been back and forth so many times, I feel like a porch swing.

If you want to read a lot more on this subject, check out my column on the subject, which posted at 6 p.m.

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Posted by Peter Schmuck at 11:15 AM | | Comments (51)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

BRob should humbly accept 30 mill...the market has changed. He should jump at the opportunity.

Man I hope they get this over with so both sides are happy. Have a feeling Big Pete has stepped in to get something done.

It will be great to have this deal DONE and not need to talk about it again. Brian is a critical piece of setting the table for these young guys to make the progress we want them to make to get this team back to competing in the AL East. Lose Roberts leadoff abilities and defense and you hurt the young bats and pitchers on this club over the next several years. GET IT DONE ANDY!

I hope O's get a deal done ! I think BR is the best 2B in baseball...It should of been done last year.Who going to play 2B if its not BR next year ?

Here's hoping they get it done and add to the positive moves made this off-season.
Just give us a reason to give a damn is all I ask

LOCK HIM UP! YES WE CAN!

Well pete-you have a lot of
patience.The signing of
Brian Roberts will be a
hugh hole filled.

Woohoo, My fingers and toes are crossed. Get it done Andy. BRob has been the face of the franchise for quite sometime now, he deserves this. Not being from B'More and living in the NE, as a fan I can see the contributions he makes to the community as well as the fan base.

If McPhail can get this done before THUR (or the end of spring training for that matter) how can any Oriole fan not fully endorse his plan for rebuilding this team. He is methodically going about rebuilding the team for the future while doing the best he can, in a fiscally prudent manner, for the team on the field now.

GO O's!!

Pete,

Loved your porch swing analogy! Here's mine....like parking at BWI when you have to go to the upper level. It's "dizzying"!

But I am curious Mr. porch swing, what do you really think it will take? Three years at 35 mil...do you think he would go for that? Or four years at 45 to 50 mil?

Keep us in the loop(er). Sorry, couldn't resist.

...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I said four years for $44 million several weeks ago, so I'll stick with that.

Let's just hope the swing comes to rest on the signing side of the porch. I don't need to repeat what other Brian Roberts fans have said many times before... but I will anyway. Competitive and durable ballplayer, excellent lead-off batter, fine defensive second-baseman, top-notch community guy. Maybe the O's won't contend for the playoffs in 2009, but we all know those years aren't far off--if Brian signs, the majority of his contract will include them. Let's do this!

On another note, thanks so much for all the blog updates! I receive them as water in the weary desert of winter: somewhere the sun is shining bright, and the boys of summer are soaking it in now to bring it north with them in April. Until then, your notices from Florida are harbingers of these things worth believing.

Offer him four years in the mid 40s with a no-trade clause and a player opt-out after two years, if the club fails to win 165 games or more over those two years.

"I'm starting to think this gets done, but I've been back and forth so many times, I feel like a porch swing."

In political circles that would be called flip-flopping. In sports circles that could be considered as jumping on and off of the bandwagon... Only in the world according to Pete would it be known as a porch swing...

Did I mention before that you continue to amaze me.... Keep it up Pete.

I'm surprised Brian wants to stay with all the trade rumors over the past couple years. but, money talks, and the orioles aren't that far away from competing, maybe a few pitchers. we certainly need his leadership as an O. he will probably require some type of no trade protection, keep from going to a poor club.

Pete, have you notice how, every few years, you need a stronger rope on that swing?

:)

I was on the "trade Roberts" bandwagon for a long while. The way I saw it, collecting prospects was the only way to go. I saw the results of the Bedard trade and started to drool.

But with the outstanding job McPhail has done these past two years in the draft, trades, free agency, and strengthing our farm system, I now believe that we are only 2 years away from competing in the AL Beast.

And I tell you what, signing Roberts to a 4 year extension is going to help us compete that much better when our young guys are ready.

Someone grab a pen and lets get this done now!

Mr. Schmuck Some how "porch swing" doesn't quite visualise well. How about "Palm Tree"? Here's hoping it does get done. That would make this probably the best off season this club has had in many a year. Mr. McPhail has to be proud of what he has accomplished this off season. Notice how quiet the Angelos front has been? Proves Mr. ?Angelos has been a man of his word. They are spending money in the right places. From dismal to excited, always happen around spring training, even for an"Old O's Fan".

Other posters are calling BRob the "face of the franchise" and that we should offer him something in the 40's with a no trade clause and a player opt out at 2. Apparently I've been living under a rock. I obviously don't realize who this little guy is and neither does any other team. Offers for him have basically been castoffs and hopefuls who end up as being in danger of not remaining on that trading team's roster.

I say 4 years, $38 million. Brian's a great player, but we need to be realistic here- he'll turn 32 this year. Overpaying an almost 36 year old second baseman is NOT the Oriole way. If he honestly thinks he can get some big, fat contract on the open market, then he should by all means go for it, or give this organization a chance to get what it can for him via trade. Something is always better than nothing.

Chase Utley is the best 2nd baseman and his contract is 7-year, $85 million, a little more than $12M a year, so I wouldn't expect Brian to get quite that much, but $10-11M a year might be do-able.

Pete,

Guess all this is starting to get on my nerves. Love seeing B-Rob as an O as much as I enjoy Ray-Ray as a Raven. If they don't want to play in Baltimore for whatever the million dollar amount is...then, just leave. The fans appreciated your efforts. Guess what: Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken have all retired...others have come along to replace them when their playing days were concluded. The same will happen with B-Rob and Ray-Ray...and, anyone else who thinks they are above the teams them represent.

Ed

Put me down for 4 years and $40 mil.

http://baltimorebirdsnest.blogspot.com/2009/01/brian-roberts.html

"Based on the Orioles initial contract offer and the projections for Brian's next three seasons, they seem to place a value of roughly $2.0 million on each 1.0 of WARP. Based on other research that exists, this seems to be a reasonable valuation. Extending the contract to four seasons would mean paying Brian about $37.5 million, quite a bit lower than Schmuck's hypothetical offer. So while Schmuck is probably right--$45 million over four years would get a deal done--that doesn't make his contract proposal a smart one for the Orioles. Instead, if MacPhail & Co. feel comfortable guaranteeing a fourth year, and I would given his injury history and skill set, 4-years/$40 million (thus taking into account the off-field and community goodwill value Roberts has to the club) is better way for me to spend Peter Angelos's money for him."

I hope Brob gets signed , but he'd better do it before that list of 103 breaks public .

Pete, if the O's are dead set against a 4th yr., wouldn't it make sense in this case, to give Brian 3 yrs/36.3? They overpay per year, but don't have to commit to the 4th if age is a concern.

Brian is important to this club for many reasons, so I hope it gets done, but if it doesn't, I still wouldn't trade him for the sake of trading him, as the Rangers did pretty well, with late trades of Tex and Gagne to the Braves and Sox.

.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I don't think they're dead set against a four-year deal.

Peter,

Whatever happened to Dodger Town? How did they end up back in Fort Lauderdale?

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: They weren't supposed to be there this year either way, but the negotiations ran aground and now they're looking at Fort Myers.

pete:
lee county is offering free land for
the sox to keep them...how about
mentioning to the O's so they could
get in line to get free land in order to
build their own Orioleland in lee or
collier counties

...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Jeez, they turned their nose up at Collier County 17 years ago.

Wow, if this comes through, it will have been such a positive offseason, it's going to be a splash of cold water in the face when the actual games start!

I really like what MacPhail & co. are doing, and if the Orioles aren't really competitive until the young arms round into shape in 2010 or later, at least they'll be a fun offense & defense to watch until then.

Now or never. If they don't get this worked out by Thursday, then I guess we'll see B'Rob on the trading block in July. I like your range of 44-45 mil over 4 years. The O's need to overpay some guys, or nobody will play here, and Roberts seems like a safe bet to be good for 4 more years. 36 isn't excatly ancient these days.

Mr. Schmuck. I love reading your blog. If I had known you were going to be this famous I would have been much nicer to Dan when we played for AACS together! Thanks for keeping me updated all the way over here in Okinawa, Japan!


..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Johnny. Great to hear from you. I hope everything is going well for you over there and you're enjoying your time in the Corps. Thanks for staying in touch.

If 2010 (or even 2011) is the target year for contention, Roberts for even 4 years makes sense.

Think about it - the entire O's outfield - Pie, Jones, Markakis - is under team control for 4 more years, Jones being the shortest time left. Your catcher will be under control for 6.6 years starting mid-May this year.

With Roberts signed for 4 years, that means 5 of your 8 position players for your run at the playoffs are under team control for a minimum of 4 years, taking you through 2012. Add in your #1 starter is under team control for 4 more years (iirc), and the arms in the system, and all of a sudden. Andy MacPhail is looking like a genius.

Now, find a 1B, a 3B and a SS for the next 3 or so seasons after this year, and you're really in business. There's definitely light at the end of this 11-year-long tunnel!

Hey Pete...

Just going on the report that $30/3 years was turned down...is it your feeling that the 4th year is more of an issue, or the dollar figure?

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I don't think you can separate them, but I think Roberts wants the fourth year.

Brian Roberts turns 32 this October. Signing him for three or four more seasons is absolutely a recipe for disaster.

Second basemen over the age of 30 -- and particularly those with Roberts's skill set (i.e., speedy leadoff guys with doubles power and a good batting eye) don't age gracefully. They don't give you a warning that they're about to implode; they just fall off the cliff.

Go ahead and look up Roberto Alomar's career if you don't believe me; he hit the snot out of the ball in 2001 (at age 33), was terrible the next year for the Mets, and out of baseball the year after that. And I would humbly submit -- much as I love B-Rob -- that he's not quite in Alomar's league as a player.

Remember Chuck Knoblauch? In his prime, he was basically the same player as Roberts. Knobby stopped hitting at age 30, even though he hung around for a couple more seasons.

McPhail doesn't strike me as the kind of GM who throws around a lot of money and just "hopes for the best" -- but we'll see, I guess.

csquare said "money talks, and the orioles aren't that far away from competing, maybe a few pitchers."

Hmmmm...it does, but we don't spend enough.

Oh yes we are, don't kid yourself.

And finally, a few?!? You think? How about 3 to fill the rotation. That would be nice.

Theory on spring training site. Angelos was waiting for an Obama win so the new FAA would be more friendly and give a big Democrat a much better rental rate on the airport land! Think they really want to stay in Ft. L, but in much bigger / nicer digs.

Peter,

I really thought the signing of Wiggington meant that BRob was going to be dealt between now and May. Perhaps Thursday is the timeline for several players' physical exams to occur prior to a trade announcement. Do you think that is a realistic possibility? Is Chris Gomez in camp yet? Keep us informed Petey, you're doing a great job!

Please don't put BROB in withe the steroids abusers. BROB took the HGH rehabbing from injury which I might add is a common treatment for horrific injuries. Understand it was illegal but HGH is a hole different ball of wax than steroids. Keep the facts straight. 3 YRS 38mil gets it done.

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: If you want to keep the facts straight, don't deceive people into thinking that HGH is given to people recovering from injuries. That is not a common practice. It is used on people losing muscle mass from cancer treatment and to treat dwarfism.

4 year deal is a mistake...the market has changed...no way anybody signs him to a 4 year deal next offseason...
3 year deal with a club option for 4th year at 11 million per would be where I would stay...if not, then move on...trade him for what you can get or take the draft picks.

B-Rob: it's tough out here in the real world (like the Alan Jackson song). Ink the thing and let's move on!
We got a wild card title to win in a couple years!

It would be really great with him and Nick signed. Not ot have to worry about that going forward. I'd also like to see BRob go down as a career Oriole and into the Oriole HOF.

The Orioles need to hold the line on this at 3 years. Look at the market for Orlando Hudson and tell me that Roberts is going to get 4 years from another team. I like Brian Roberts a lot, but players make cold business decisions and the team needs to as well.

",,, but I've been back and forth so many times, I feel like a porch swing"

Pete, you have taken the lead for the funniest line of the spring!

Hey Pete,

This is kind of unrelated, but I think you mentioned somewhere that Trembley had particular praise for the way that Chris Ray and Troy Patton were throwing. Do you have more specifics? I know some Houston fans who were furious that we got Patton in the Tejada deal, and even with the surgery I think he could be a good No.2 in the future, or more realistically a strong 3 or 4. It would be great to hear a good word about the way he looks.


.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: He looks fine so far, but I haven't focused on him yet. There are about 50 players in camp and we're heading into Day 3, so there are a few players I haven't talked to yet.

Pete , I really hope they get Roberts locked in . Despite my winter rants , I'm slowly starting to warm back up to the O's ( I knew I would ) . Of course I don't expect too much this year ( again ) I'm really liking MacPhails work . I give him a "7.5" . How 'bout you Pete , your thoughts 1-10 if you have the time . Thanks .
* Can't leave out I think your doing a great job from Fla . Keep up the good work .


.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I would rate him about the same. He has done what he promised, but I would have liked one dynamic move.

I'd rather take the two draft picks than see the O's overpay for Roberts. He wants Chase Utley money but there is one problem, he's not Chase Utley. BRob is already one of the highest paid 2Bs in the game.

Peter- I want to know your thoughts on something.
I was reading about Riemold. Anyway, i would rather have an average defender with a plus bat, then a great defender and no bat at all.
That being said, I hope Pie hits like he did a few years back, but, Riemold is a monster when he is healthy.
Manny Ramirez is an amazing hitter. He is up there with Joe D, Ted, Babe, Jimmy Fox, Clemente, Gehrig, and the many other HOFers. But, he is only an average defender.
I think Riemold has that kind of potential. he could be our Adam Dunn. Maybe our Manny?


..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Doesn't strike me that way, but your opinion on this is as good as mine at this point.

We have to sign Roberts. He and Izturis have the chance to be a dynamite combo defensively. With AJ in center, the O's have a chance to have one of the strongest up the middle defences in the league. That's a quality that a lot of winning teams have.

Brian is special to the O's and worth overpaying with the 4th year (market is going down, not up, so no way Brian gets even the 3/30mil deal as a F.A. after the season). I don't even look at is trying to make the fans happy, because winning will do that, but in every sport, one guy just fits in with a team and makes it work. Brian is that guy in Baltimore. I agree with a lot of the posters on here that by the 4th year, he might not be half the player he is, but some people you make exceptions for and this guy is one of them in my opinion.

Pete, I know this isn't Andy's job to negotiate in FL, but do you think given the fact that he seems to have the best relationship with Peter A. than any other previous GM, he talks with him about how important it is to have a spring training facility where the major and minor league players are in close proximity? I haven't heard one Peter A. is interfering story, so maybe Andy is the guy to stress that this situation FL, has to resolved.

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: It's possible that Peter Angelos is interfering in this situation in a good way.

Dave -
re: your comments "defending" BRob using HGH vs. 'roids . First let me say I'm a BRob fan , but myself being involved in competitive bodybuilding / powerlifting for 20yrs. , if you think he was using HGH for rehabbing then I've got a bridge here in Hebron you might be interested in .

If it is years he wants give him a 5 year 40 million deal, with incentive to make 50 million. Very good lead off guy with a great glove but really these times are different. I am sure that with recent jobs reports, companies in Baltimore laying off thousands, a stock market that can fall to a 123year low today, chance of losing the big three American car manufactures, foreclosures at a all time high and financial collapse of our banking industry will mean less fans in the stands and less advertising support.

Pete: I would be interested to know how many season ticket packages have been sold as of now.

Was your "column on the subject" really on the Chicago Tribune Business page?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/economy-business-finance/company-information/contracts/04016013.topic

Either Angelos got some fed stimulus money for BRob or your link is wrong. If the former, then I guess we don't need to allow Angelos to put slots at Camden Yards...

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Let me go check. Sounds like a bad link, but this is the first I've heard of it.

Mr. Schmuck
Some how "Porch Swing" doesn't quite get it. How about "Palm Tree"? Here's hoping BRob gets signed. This would make this off season one of the Best in many a year. Mr. McPhail has to be very proud of what he has accomplished this off season, his first. Notice how quiet the Angelos front has been? This proves that Mr. Angelos has been a man of his word.
From feeling dismal to "excited" is great, even for an"Old O's Fan"

.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: It's actually Andy's second offseason, but the first one was good too.

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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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