Orioles: Roberts no-trade clause
Since I've been getting some questions about Brian Roberts' contract and the level of no-trade protection included in it, I went and actually cornered a couple of Orioles officials and found out.
Roberts had a very limited no-trade clause for the final year of his previous contract, allowing him to designate four teams to which he could not be traded. That was rolled in when the final year of the old deal was rolled into what essentially is a new five-year contract.
So, this year, there are four teams that Brian can't be traded to, though I have to admit I have not confirmed the list. I'm pretty confident that two of the teams are the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays, but that is conjecture based on a peripheral conversation, so you can't take that to the bank.
The no-trade protection graduates through the next three years of the contract. He will be allowed to designate eight teams he doesn't want to play for next year and 12 teams the following season.
The no-trade clause becomes blanket protection a couple months before Roberts would get it anyway as a 10-5 player. The 10-5 rule in baseball's collective bargaining agreement allows every major league player to veto a trade after he has spent 10 full years in the major leagues and has five full years of service with his current club.
Though the club retains a fairly unfettered right to deal Roberts at the moment, I've been assured by O's officials that the club has no intention of pursuing any trade talks involving him.
Contract update: The Orioles have come to terms with reliever Bob McCrory, leaving eight players still unsigned.