Angelos and Orioles better not screw up the Adam Jones situation

May 21, 2012 | Drew Forrester

The Orioles and owner Peter Angelos are faced with a problem they haven’t had since Mike Mussina was short-changed by the club and headed off to New York.

They have to pay the going rate and then some or risk the embarrassment of losing a player they’ve groomed over several years.  It’s only fair to mention that neither Jones or Wieters is obligated to sign in Baltimore.  One or both could simply say “No thanks, I’ll just play this thing out and test free agency when it comes around.”  That’s their choice.  Doing that, though, would rob them of making big money sometime soon, particularly Wieters, who is only making $500,000 in this, his 4th season with the club.

It’s incumbent upon the Orioles to do the chasing in this case.  They must make signing Jones and Wieters a priority, effective immediately.  This is what everyone wanted.  It’s time to pay the two of them or risk having them go elsewhere.

Losing one would be crushing.  Losing both would be catastrophic.

Call it roughly somewhere between $250 and $300 million the Orioles will probably have to shell out over a 6-10 year period considering the staggered nature of the respective free agency years of their stars.

If the rumors about Peter Angelos being interested in selling the team are true, how much harder would it be to get his desired asking price if the first thing a prospective buyer sees is a couple hundred million dollars of GUARANTEED money on the books for two players?

Then again, it might be easier to sell the team if a new owner is inheriting a winner, no matter what the accountants say.

But in the world of Angelos, particularly now, 20 some years into his ownership, it’s apparent that money continues to be the driving force behind the team and the MASN television network he owns.

And early next month, the Washington Nationals could win a legal battle with MASN that might very well take their annual rights fee from $30 million a year to $60 million or more over the next five years.

What if MASN comes up on the short end of that legal scrap as most believe they will?  That’s $30 million of lost revenue for MASN and a direct blow to the wallet of Angelos and, indirectly, the Orioles.

If the Nationals deal calls for $60 million or more in annual rights fees, will Jones and Wieters possibly suffer because of it?

Sure, that could happen.

But it better not.

Under no circumstances should the Nationals affect the Orioles and their ability to sign or re-sign any players.  But we’ve seen this movie plenty of times before.  The Orioles talk about being involved in the free agent market.  They sniff around and make an offer or two, but when the dust settles it’s always someone else having the press conference to announce their new player.  In that regard, it wouldn’t at all be surprising to see the Birds balk at having to cough up upwards of $100 million to Adam Jones.

$100 million is a lot of money, particularly when it has to be guaranteed.

It’s nearly $30 million more than the largest contract the Orioles have ever paid one player.

But that’s what we all wanted five years ago when Jones showed up and Wieters was drafted.

We just wanted the Orioles to get better.

And we knew the only way they’d get better would be by bringing in better players.

Well, they’re here now.

And it’s time to start paying them.

As George Clooney said in “The Perfect Storm”…”this separates the men from the boys”.

The real teams, the winners…they pay their talent.

The imposters let their best players go somewhere else and get rich.

The Orioles better not be imposters this time around.


13 Comments For This Post

  1. Christian Says:

    I’m 20 years old this year, so obviously I’ve haven’t see them win in which I was old enough to remember it. As much as it pains me to say this because I love this team, but if Jones says that he’s willing to resign here, and they don’t resign him, that would be the last straw for me with the organization, I’d be done with them and wouldn’t care about Baltimore baseball anymore until this ownership that has tried to ruin Baltimore baseball for me throughout my short life. As soon as they’re gone, I’d care again. Call me a bad fan for admitting that, but I’m apart of the generation that wants to see some Oriole Magic, and we’ve yet to witness it AT ALL…hopefully this season stays its current pace.

  2. Dan Says:

    Yeah , sign him up . Give him Roberts / Markakis money , 4 or 5 years, tops. He could stink next year and he knows that so he prob. takes it.

  3. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    It’s axiomatic that you have to “pay to play”! However, the “O’s” have not exactly shown much interest in paying for top notch talent in recent years, so Jones will prove to be a “test” that they cannot afford to…….fail!

  4. unitastoberry Says:

    I was waiting for you to write about this. It will be a good litmus test for the club going forward. Memo to Pete- You better divert some MASN money!Dont let him get away!

  5. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    If I’m Jones I tell my agent to just ride this out until after next year and test the market, because you know that Angelos is going to try to low ball him. If I were Wieters I would do the same thing after Angelos paying him on the cheap this year. Same story with the Orioles they talk a good game but rarely step into the batter-box and take a swing.

  6. mike paskoff Says:

    I think the O’s should simply offer Jones and Wieters 5 year deals for $80-$100 million each. That way they can show the players pretty much top dollar and also let the players see if the team can stay competitive over the next 5 years. Should the team regress, the players can try the free agency route in 5 years when Jones will be only 32 and Wieters 31 and they can then choose to leave Baltimore for a more competitive environment or simply the highest bidder.

    Mike Paskoff

  7. Joe in Fell's Point Says:

    It appears Angelos finds himself in a position he didn’t expect – the O’s winning and the fans demanding signing both players at high prices (and deserved based on MLB insanity). Amazingly, the O’s could have a Devil Ray’s like run over the next few years while the Yankees’ dynasty winds down. However, to capitalize on the opportunity the O’s need to sign Jones and Weiters to send the right signals to attract the necessary free-agents . Unfortunately, I don’t think Angelos is willing to spend the money which means we will foolishly hope that the O’s can make a playoff run in 2012 and 2013 without significant free agents.

  8. Steve From Linthicum Says:

    “Losing one would be crushing. Losing both would be catastrophic.”

    My money’s on catastrophic.

  9. Chris Says:

    If they don’t get a deal in place before the start of spring training next year I think jones decides to ride it out and I wouldn’t blame him one bit. It’s been an enjoyable ride so far but in order to sustain this success (and it’s still too early in the season for me to believe they’ll be able to do it even the rest of this season) they need to take care of the players that get you there. It’s one thing for players outside of the organization not wanting to play. It’s quite another if this teams players decide they don’t want to play here or if the orioles make no real effort to sign them.

  10. BmoreBobRob Says:

    If given a chance of picking, both will sign or both will walk, I’ll take both will walk. I think Drew said it best when he mentioned that Angelos is hoping Jones comes back to earth next year so he can offer him less. I say offer instead of sign on purpose. Whatever happens it will be a completely mystery for the fans. Sort of like what happened with You Pon. A lot of fanfare and then poof, it was gone and we’ll never find out what really happened.

  11. Steve Says:

    Do you fans remember the Irsay and Curtis Dicky situation with the Colts back in 83? It was former WBAL TV Sportcaster Chris Thomas and the Sunpaper sports writer John Steadman all nagged Irsay to resign Curtis Dicky. Well It worked but Bob Irsay was furious with himself that he knew he shouldnt have allowed the press manipulated him. So he lost a lot of his money by signing Curtis Dicky he knew he couldnt make a profit with the Colts by the Lack of attendance at Memorial Stadium. So he snuck out of the night and moved them to Indy. Well maybe the baltimore sports media and WNST can nag and con Peter Angelos by resigning Adam Jones. If Peter Angelos gets upset then let him take the O’s to Montreal we will get a better team a better owner just like The Ravens are much better to have in Baltimore than having Jim Irsay here now.

  12. charlie Says:

    steve — good comparison.i remember sitting in memorial stadium during the last ’83 game against the oilers and chanting ‘we want dickey!’ but i’ve gotta say, people used to say the same thing about moving the colts that you say about moving the orioles. i disagree w/that. owners come and go faster than teams do. we’re lucky to have an mlb franchise, even if crummy angelos has degraded the team into a sham.

  13. barry Says:

    sorry this is late but i just your blog. what you are saying makes sence. if they do not sign jones and/or trade him next year at the dead line what are they telling matt weiters, “get out of town quick.”
    dont forget who matt weiters agent is,boras, he will get top top dollar for him in a new contract.
    keep it in the short grass!!!

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