Baltimore Orioles Off-Season Continues To Be Silent As Brian Roberts Signs With New York Yankees
Via MLBTradeRumors: The Yankees and second baseman Brian Roberts have agreed to a one-year deal worth $2MM plus incentives, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Morosi’s colleague, Ken Rosenthal, reported last night that the two sides were likely to reach an agreement. Roberts is represented by Relativity Baseball (formerly known as SFX).
This was always inevitable. The Orioles weren’t bringing Brian Roberts back despite the fact they need a second baseman. The relationship between the team and player had soured probably due to lack of production and injury. While Roberts was one of the better second baseman for a number of years, he hadn’t been brining much to the table recently. Mostly because he couldn’t stay on the field, but nonetheless, he wasn’t coming back to Baltimore. But going to the New York Yankees coupled with the fact that the Orioles off-season has been about as stale as possible and you can see why O’s fans are growing impatient.
Relax. The O’s front office didn’t want a 36 year old second baseman who couldn’t stay on the field, wasn’t producing, but felt he should be the first option. Ryan Flaherty isn’t the answer but there are options out there that could come into play. For example, Stephen Drew is a possibility that would provide flexibility should JJ Hardy leave via free agency in the future. It would cost them a draft pick and at least $10 million a season, but it would be a significant upgrade over Flaherty. They could, and should, take a flyer on Chris Getz. He’ll likely be cheap and is a solid change of scenery guy. If they wanted a platoon guy to go with Flaherty they could push for Jamey Carroll as he would also be cheap. The problem is that all of these players, save for Drew, are about as exciting as a funeral and wouldn’t pump up the fan base at all. They could trade for Brandon Phillips but who knows what the price is and the O’s would be on the hook for the $50 million remaining on his contract. Rickie Weeks could be a trade candidate but who knows what he’ll provide as far as production and we don’t know the asking price. Regardless, I’m not sure the Orioles have the trade pieces that Cincinnati or Milwaukee would be looking for.
The Orioles front office is playing the waiting game this off-season. They probably want a front line starter and are waiting until Tanaka is posted (or not) to see how the market shapes out. They also are probably limited in the funds they have to spend and Duquette is going to try and squeeze as much value as he can from this off-season in hopes of keeping pace with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. One this is for sure, if this team were to stay as is, I’m pretty sure we’d be looking at a potential 85 loss team and another season looking up at the AL East big three.