With Brian Roberts agreeing to a one-year, $2 million deal plus incentives with the New York Yankees on Tuesday, the Orioles offseason suffered another blindside hit — but it actually makes a lot of sense.
Roberts gives the Yankees something they need, at a small price, after the departure of superstar second baseman Robinson Cano — an experienced middle infielder who is capable of batting at the top of the lineup. In return, the Yankees give Roberts something he never had with the Orioles — a chance to get to the World Series with a big-market, big-money team that will do anything to win.
Orioles fans will see this as a major betrayal by a much-loved player who was paid $40 million over the past four years to play very little because of a laundry list of injuries, but Roberts isn't going to have many more chances to get a World Series ring at this late stage in his career.
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There’s no guarantee that he gets one; just ask Mike Mussina. There's certainly no guarantee he stays healthy enough to be there at the end of the season, but with the Orioles seemingly unwilling to spend what it takes to keep the heat on the other American League East contenders, well, who can blame him?
It's not like the Orioles front office beat down his door to keep him here — and it's probably time for the Orioles to move on at second base, anyway.
But it's the evil Yankees, so it's still going to sting a little.