The Orioles are showing more promising signs of turning the franchise around under Andy MacPhail. Signing Brian Roberts to a contract extension is the right thing to do, both on and off the field.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Brian Roberts and the O’s are close to inking a four-year contract extension. Roberts is slated to make $8 million this season, so the terms of the contract extension would not begin until the 2010 campaign.
It appears as though Roberts wants to be an Oriole, despite having never played a meaningful game in his career and despite the deplorable way the team treated him during the negotiation process.
On the field, Roberts has arguably been the best lead-off hitter in the majors. He has a .284 life-time average, and has hit at least 40 doubles in four of the past five seasons. He’s also been a base-stealing machine, collecting 40 steals last year and swiping 50 bags in 2007.
The Orioles had to extend Roberts’ contract, because despite all of the promising pitching they have down in the farm, they have exactly ZERO second baseman prospects who will be ready to play major league ball in four or five years.
And with Matt Weiters coming up at some point this season, the Orioles are just one solid short stop away from being completely solid up the middle. I’m not sold on Cesar Izturis, but Roberts, Weiters, and Adam Jones will make the Orioles defensively sound in the middle of the diamond.
Off the field, Roberts has been the Orioles most prominent figure in the community through his work with the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.
Quick, name another Oriole who has done something like that for the Baltimore community.
I’d bet a dollar that you can’t.
Considering the atrocious way the Orioles as an organization have reached out to their fans and the city, or lack thereof, Brian Roberts has been their saving grace in the community.
He deserves the pay-raise because of that alone, not to mention dealing with the clowns in the dugout and in the Warehouse who have left their stink on the Orioles franchise over the past decade.
And B-Rob is probably the Orioles’ most popular player locally and their most recognizable name nationally. This signing makes Roberts the face of the Baltimore baseball in 2009, and who better to be the face of an organization?
So I take my hat off to Brian Roberts, and the Baltimore Orioles, for doing the right thing.