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The Orioles ranked 15th in baseball in 2013 in team payroll at $90,993,333. Since the end of the season, the team has let Brian Roberts, Nate McLouth and Scott Feldman walk in free agency, and traded Jim Johnson. They're set to receive another $25 million from the new national TV deal MLB agreed to.
Yet, somehow, the team is looking like they'll have a lower payroll in 2014 than they did in 2013, as Baseball-Reference projects the O's to have a payroll of $82.8 million this coming season, even after arbitration settlements with many O's players and the projected earnings of catcher Matt Wieters.
Orioles fans are wondering where the money is going. The team has yet to spend significantly at all, meaning there's only one place the money could go: into the pockets of the owner, Peter Angelos.
Angelos is certainly entitled to make some money off of his baseball team. After all, he worked to be in the position of being able to own a baseball team, so it's only fair that it benefit him as well.
But at the end of the day, the number one priority of a sports team's owner should be to spend enough to field a competitive team. After all, that's how a team makes more significant money off of ticket sales, concessions, merchandise, playoff money, etc.
If Angelos is unwilling to spend and the team isn't as good in 2014 as it has been the last two seasons, then he's going to hear about it from the fans. This kind of inactivity when the team clearly has the resources available is unacceptable to most fans. Not to mention that most fans wouldn't want a huge signing anyway, just enough to complement the existing talent on the roster.
Angelos' wallet has been the real winner of the O's offseason, but his perception and public image among fans has been the loser.