After volunteering to do so, Orioles CEO John Angelos indicates he will not be sharing club’s finances after all

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John Angelos is “as transparent as transparent gets,” he said Thursday. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be fulfilling his promise to share the Orioles’ books.

Angelos, the Orioles’ chairman and CEO, had twice this year told reporters that he would reveal details of the Orioles’ financial situation. However, when asked Thursday in an interview on 105.7 The Fan if and when he’d be following through on his word, Angelos indicated that he would not be. He responded to the radio hosts’ question by criticizing The Baltimore Sun, alluding to a recent Sun article on the topic.


“It’s an interesting concept and I saw that my good friends at The Baltimore Sun wanted to weigh in on that today. When the hedge fund that owns The Baltimore Sun, based in New York City, wants to open their books, I guess we’ll take a look at that. It’s difficult for me to understand what that fascination is,” Angelos said in the interview during the Orioles’ 10-9 win over the host Boston Red Sox on opening day.

The Sun is owned by newspaper company Tribune Publishing, which was acquired by New York-based Alden Global Capital in 2021.

Orioles chairman and CEO John Angelos speaks to the media on Feb. 19 in Sarasota, Florida.

Angelos, the son of incapacitated Orioles owner Peter Angelos, lauded his own ties to Baltimore, saying he “has spent every day of my life living inside the city.” However, Angelos has owned a home in Tennessee and also attended Duke University in North Carolina.

The Orioles hosted a news conference with Angelos on Martin Luther King Jr. Day regarding a $5 million gift from the club to a nonprofit. A reporter for The Athletic asked Angelos at the time about his family’s future owning the team, which had been called into question amid a legal battle between family members.

In response, Angelos admonished the reporter for asking those questions on MLK Day. He then said that at a later date he would show media members the Orioles’ financials — a rare declaration by a professional team executive.

“I’m very transparent. … I’ll take you down on the third floor,” he said from the B&O Warehouse, which houses the Orioles’ offices, “and I’ll show you the financials of the Orioles. I’ll show you the governance of the Orioles. I’ll show you everything you want to know.”

He backtracked a bit at spring training, telling reporters that it wouldn’t be a total reveal but would still be a “full picture of the business.”

Since Angelos’ offer in January, The Sun has requested information about a potential meeting with Angelos to discuss the team’s financials, but no meeting has ever been arranged.

“When I say something — like I’m gonna sit down with you guys, explain the business from my perspective — I’m gonna do it,” Angelos said in February.

But Angelos suggested Thursday he would not actually follow through. The second time he was asked on 105.7 The Fan about sharing the team’s financials, he, again, pointed to Alden: “Is the ownership group of The Baltimore Sun going to show us their profits?”


He also said that he hasn’t seen reporters asking the Washington Nationals or the Ravens to “open their books.” Notably, executives for those teams have not recently told reporters that they would do so.

Angelos said that rather than being judged by its financial situation, the Orioles should be judged “on our win-loss record” and “community impact.”

On the field Thursday, the Orioles provided a dramatic, season-opening win, escaping with a one-run victory. Adley Rutschman, the second-year player who is already the face of the franchise, played the hero; he went 5-for-5 with a walk, a home run and four RBIs.

During the game, Angelos was asked if the Orioles would seek contract extensions with players such as Rutschman or top rookie Gunnar Henderson. Other teams have signed young players to long-term deals to avoid losing them later in free agency. For example, Wander Franco signed an 11-year, $182 million deal with the Tampa Bay Rays — a small-market team like the Orioles — this offseason. The Cleveland Guardians, another franchise Angelos pointed to as a team the Orioles would like to emulate, this week signed their young star, Andrés Giménez, to a seven-year contract reportedly worth $106.5 million.

Angelos first pointed to the difficulty that small-market teams face in MLB as compared to the NFL but did say he hoped that executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias would be able to extend the team’s young talent.

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“They’re going to do what they can within the system that they’re in. Does that mean extensions? Absolutely, I would hope so. But you gotta go with the system you’re in. It’s much, much, much tougher to be in the baseball system than in the football or basketball system,” he said.


Orioles fans have criticized the team for having the second-lowest payroll — $61.9 million, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts — in MLB this season and Angelos was asked if the team might add a large contract before this season’s trade deadline. A recent report from Forbes found that Baltimore was the fourth-most profitable MLB franchise last season, estimating the team’s operating income — defined by Forbes as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — as $66.7 million. That would suggest the team has money to spend on players. However, Angelos cast doubt on the validity of the report and did not indicate that the team’s payroll would grow during the season.

He then noted the team’s investment in international signings and in a player development facility in the Dominican Republic.

“Every penny goes back into the franchise,” Angelos said.

The Orioles will play their first home game next Thursday, and Gov. Wes Moore and his children will throw out the first pitch. The Orioles’ current lease with the state of Maryland, its landlord, expires at the end of the year.

Angelos has said that he hopes signing a long-term lease can be an “All-Star break gift,” meaning the deal would be done by early July. He didn’t provide an update on timing Thursday when asked, but said “we’re going to come through” when it comes to the lease.

“There’s no question about it,” he said.