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February 18, 2009

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.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 7:18 PM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Just baseball


Pete, Great article in the Sun about Roberts & all the positive implacations..... It's a good day in Oriole-land !!!....... Perhaps Roberts is more optimistic about the clubs future, HOWEVER, where is he going to get a deal like that elsewhere ???? ...... Please tell me how many major league second baseman make 10 million per yr., (Next Yr the count is one I think) & Roberts is getting 10 mill for 4 yrs. ......So....thanks for staying Brian, we love you,..... but.....did we really have to twist his wrist that much ?......I think not !!!


Are you an O's fan?

Pete's reply: I try not to be a fan of any team, but I can tell you that I hope they do well because I think that's good for everybody who loves baseball in Maryland...even those who might be fans of other teams.

I like Brian Roberts a lot, but this is one year too many ... still, as long as the 2013 Orioles are willing to consider $10 million as a sunk cost, it's fine. Seen in that light, what the heck, It's not my money (not much of it anyway).



This is great news for any true Oriole fan. It still amazes me that getting rid of a player of Brian's caliber was ever seriously considered. Had he been traded, it would have down as one of the worst deals in franchise history and have pushed back the timetable for team to be competitive. .

Mark my words, with this behind him now, B-Rob is going to have a huge season!

As for your minor league update, I think the signing of Tanaka is another great move. Worst case scenario he doesn't make the O's, but this is low risk so not much is lost. Best case scenario he becomes Koji's teammate, which should increase the latter's comfort level significantly, thus indirectly helping his pitching.

Wasn't Tanaka the guy in the Major League movie?....oh boy....Love the commitment the team is showing. I live in Kansas and made it to 5 games last year in Baltimore and will do the same this year. I challenge the locals to do the same show some pride in your team win or lose.

Tanaka? Didn't he play second base for the Indians in the Major League movies and later open a miniature golf course?

Good to have him in the system.

W is for wooho or is it Wahoo?

DAMN this feels good to have a front office that we can believe in!
i know that the "mcfail" people will continue to try to make their points, but, for me...pass the kool-aid. a toast to andy macphail for a second successful off-season.

Pete, again hats off to you , Jeff , and all involved with updates . They seemingly get posted at an hourly rate . It's "just like being there".
I'm one fan of the opinion that the Roberts signing is a great move and possibly a sign to other players around the league . Let the debate begin with the naysayers though .

Pete - great reporting from you and Jeff from down there. Keep up the great work.

Ken Francis - Thank you for giving us your definition of a 'true Oriole fan', but some of us, I'd hope wouldn't want a player who used performance enhancing drugs on the team. At least this should give the Orioles more trade value down the road (that is if it the deal doesn't have total no trade clause). I've been a loyal Oriole fan since 1966 and I just don't get the fascination with Roberts back there in my home state of maryland. I"m sure I will receive the normal backlash from the irrational poster on here, but that's fine too.


The BRob and Nick signings are hugely significant. Neither of those two might end of up being as good as Cal Jr. or the original BRob, but they represent the same things: quality guys, homegrown talent, could (hopefully) be lifetime O's. That's the Orioles' Way I remember from all the way back to Paul Richards! Great signing! I can sleep happy tonight.

Regardless of how the season plays out, Andy has done a heck of a job this winter. Pete, in your previous column, you hit the nail on the head, when you said that right after the Tex saga came to an end, Andy has been in rapid fire mode. He had a game plan and stuck to it, and I hope the fans will start to appreciate that we finally have a GM that not only knows what he is doing, but isn't inclined to make rash decisions. It feels good to finally be able to trust the F.O.

Brian has been a great Oriole and I am thrilled that we will all get to watch him for the next 5 years. In all likelihood, he will retie as an Oriole, which is huge since he is homegrown and in any sport, a rarity to watch one player, play his whole career for one team.

Pete, are you shocked that this deal got done so quickly into spring training? I really thought that this would go right to the 6 week mark that Brian mentioned as the cut off point.

Pete's reply: Not terribly surprised, because Roberts wants it out of the way.

Pete; I read your full column. I can't imagine how you could have said it better. Well done. I especially like your summation of what it gives the O's on the field.

We're starting to look like a pretty good defensive team, strong up the middle with Roberts, Izturis and Jones. Add Markakis and Pie in the outfield to an emerging potential All-Star young catcher and this group has a chance to be special.

AM has done a great job of putting this together just in time for the emergence of the good young pitching talent we've got in the minors that is vital to our hopes of being competitive. The defensive support they should get behind them has got to be a huge confidence builder.

Many of those fans who think 10 mill/yr for Roberts is 'too much' are probably the same fans who felt McPhail low-balled Tiexiera at 20 mill/yr!
Let's not forget that lesser-talented players such as Dunn/Bradley/Ibanez/Renteria were signed in the off-season at around the 10 mill per range so why isn't Roberts worth at least that? He brings a wider skill set than those players so instead of being negative about him being on board, we should all be positive. Even if the O's did pay a few mill more, so what?

I like Roberts, but four years 40+ million is a gift for a player at age 31 that strengths are speed and fielding. I hope the O's don't give him a no trade clause too.

Pete what you think of this:
ranking my boy andy's moves
1- locking up stick
2- drafting & signing matty, matusz, arrieta (5th round but still premium)
3- getting aj, george, tillman for bedard
4- signing brob
5- getting rid of miggy before this all really hit and getting luke, and some hopefuls in troy, sarfate and albers
6- getting two guys we were supposed to get but couldn't for brob (pie/rich hill) and giving up essentially olson
7- extending to the international market (not sold on uehara, but at least were heading that way)
8 - getting rid of lazy players like ramon and getting hard nosed freel
9- signing wiggington - see huff a guy that has done it for a couple yrs comes to hitters park and big things happen and A HUGE BARGAIN
10- created competition and a last chance for a weak rotation with guys like pauley, hennessey, parrish, penn, etc...All we need is one guy to work out and that will be huge (see cliff lee none are that talented but a lesser version would work)

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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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