Baltimore Orioles

Signing Brian Roberts Must Be Baltimore Orioles' Next Top Priority

Lawrence BarrecaAnalyst IJanuary 24, 2009

Well Oriole fans, it has been an exciting week to say the least.

The O's traded 25-year-old starting pitcher Garrett Olson to the Chicago Cubs for the promising 24-year-old Felix Pie. Pie is expected to take over as the lead man in left field come Opening Day in Baltimore.

The Orioles also put a check mark next to Nick Markakis' name on their long to-do list. 

Markakis signed a six-year, $66 million extension, keeping him in Baltimore until 2014.  I know many Orioles' faithful gave a grand sigh of relief when the news was released.

So now, the O's have almost everything set. 

The lineup has now been confirmed, the O's have added two veteran starting pitchers (Mark Hendrickson and Koji Uehara), and the bullpen is now solidified with the returns of youngster Chris Ray and veteran Danys Baez.

What's the last thing that the front office must do?

Sign Brian Roberts.

As of now, the Orioles have reportedly offered a three-year, $30 million contract extension; however, Roberts wants something a little different.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Roberts is looking for a four-year deal, making it apparent that he is still committed to the Orioles.

So should the O's pull the trigger?

That was a bit of a dumb question, but it's just one of those that I have to ask. My answer: OF COURSE!!! Sign Roberts to a four-year deal and keep the home-grown talent on the team.

Some people suggest that we should trade him, but who wants him at the moment?  Two Chicago teams had reportedly been interested, but the Cubs dropped out after the trade that brought Felix Pie to Baltimore.

The White Sox had offered young stud pitcher Gavin Floyd, but the O's were also asking for second baseman Chris Getz, so the deal was shot down.

As O's fans, let's forget trading him at the moment.  Let's talk about what he brings to this team.

The guy brings veteran leadership.

How much easier will Matt Wieters transition to the majors be having Roberts' presence in the dugout? Brian has always been a positive influence in the clubhouse, and losing him could affect the team's overall attitude.

On the field, though, Roberts is a force.

Last season, he hit for a .296 average, with nine home runs, 57 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 40 stolen bases.

He has established himself as one of the top leadoff hitters in the game, and one of the better defensive second basemen in the pros. 

If the Orioles were to lose Roberts, people believe that newly acquired Felix Pie would assume the role as leadoff man and Ryan Freel would take over at second base.

In the present time, we shall wait. We will anticipate and see what the front office plans to do.

Will they get him signed?

Will they trade him?

Will they let him walk after this season?

As I have screamed on message boards over and over again: "MacPhail, get it done!!!"

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