Orioles: Roberts' five-year plan
I'd just like to close out the day with a shout out to Orioles beat writer Jeff Zrebiec, who doggedly pursued the Brian Roberts contract negotiations the past several days and helped me let Orioles fans know yesterday that the long wait for the Orioles to sign him to a long-term extension was almost over.
Zrebiec was so locked in on the story that it enabled me to tip readers off to the possibility of a settlement here yesterday and write two columns on back-to-back days about the pending deal well before it was obvious to all that it was going to get done. The deal, by the way, is a four-year extension added on to the final year of Brian's current contract, so he'll be under contract for the next five seasons.
Here's Jeff's story from earlier today, firming up most of the details of the pending deal. Former Sun columnist and FoxSports baseball guy Ken Rosenthal also gets credit for being the first to come up with the financial terms of the contract.
If you're going link crazy, here's my column from earlier today about the long-term ramifications of the deal and its impact on every aspect of the Orioles organization.
Minor league update: O's minor league director Dave Stockstill confirmed today the team finalized a minor league deal with Japanese pitcher Ryohei Tanaka. Some Japanese baseball publications had reported the deal was done a week ago, but the O's denied at that time that it was final. Tanaka was once the top overall draft pick out of high school in Japan.