Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brian Roberts - Oriole For Life

The Orioles have reportedly signed second baseman Brian Roberts to a four year, $40 million extension which will keep him with the club through the end of 2013.

Objectively, I’ve already talked about the aging of second basemen and in light of that, this is a risky contract. Roberts is now the second highest paid second baseman in baseball (behind Chase Utley) and the extension kicks in during his age 32 season. I can’t imagine this contract will look so great during his age 34 and 35 seasons (2012 and 2013). I will root for Roberts to age gracefully but the reality is that middle infielders with his skill set tend to break down hard in their early 30’s.

Subjectively, a great move for the short term and a good PR move and not just for the fans. Roberts is a fan favorite and probably brings some people to OPACY for the singular purpose of watching him play. So the fans will be happy. But for free agents looking at signing with the Orioles, this sends a message that the Orioles are serious about making the commitment to win and with Roberts and Markakis locked up for the next few years, Baltimore is a much more attractive place to play.

And count me as a fan who is glad that we will be seeing Roberts in black and orange for the next five season…even if I may be cringing for the last two.

4 comments:

FrostKing said...

This is one of those times when it's best to be a fan with your heart and not your head.

Heath said...

True. But I think the good outweighs the negative in this case...

FrostKing said...

Oh, I think it's very likely he'll be worth the contract. It's the last couple of years, as you said, that may be less than pretty. I just meant that the "blind" happiness of your average fan is probably nice. Like thinking back to the days of youthful innocence.

Heath said...

No, I still have the "blind happiness". I am actually thrilled he'll be back. I just feel the need to point out the risk in the contract.

But when you calculate PR and overall image of the club for other free agents, the Roberts signing will be worth more than just what Brian can produce on the field. And a club like Baltimore will have to give extra years on occasion to shore up a position and to remain somewhat competitive....that's where we are right now.