News broke today that Brian Roberts and the New York Yankees agreed to terms on a one year deal, which was a move that surprised many as Baltimore was considered the front runner to retain him. With Roberts now in Pinstripes, the door is open for Ryan Flaherty.
Roberts and the Yankees have reportedly agreed to a one year deal for just $2 million, plus incentives, which is the sort of contract that we here at Orioles101 anticipated Roberts would receive, except with the Orioles.
It appears that the Orioles front office anticipated that Roberts would wait around for Baltimore to make an offer, before deciding to go elsewhere, but that wasn't the case. The $2 million guaranteed part of his new contract is merely chump change in today's world and has a pretty low risk, high reward attached to it for New York. The move makes a ton of sense for the Yankees, who need to fill a void at second base with the departure of Robinson Cano and did so for $2 million, and got a switch hitter who is still solid defensively and if healthy should produce some pretty good numbers in Yankee Stadium.
On the flip side, the risk that does come with Roberts is his health and we all know his past, and perhaps that is why the Orioles were slow to make him an offer. Now, the door is open for a full time position for Ryan Flaherty.
The Rule 5 draft pick in 2012 has been with the Orioles for two seasons as a super-utility player and filled in on numerous occasions at second base when Roberts was on the DL. Oddly enough he has played exactly 162 games for the Birds over his two seasons and has posted career numbers of .221 average with 16 home runs, 13 doubles, 46 RBI, 105 strikeouts and a .279 on base percentage in 438 plate appearances.
Those numbers certainly do not jump off the page, but those would be the kind of numbers you would project for him in a full season as the everyday player due to the fact that he has played 162 games. There is no denying that when a player comes to the ballpark everyday and knows that he is going to be in the lineup, that his numbers often improve because he is not pressing as much and we believe that could be the case with Flaherty.
Let's not forget that Baltimore did acquire Jemile Weeks in their trade of closer Jim Johnson, so he will provide some competition for Flaherty in spring training and Jonathan Schoop looms as well, but Flaherty is considered the front runner, as of now, for the starting second base position.
Baltimore continues to see players leaving and not as accomplished players coming into the organization and Orioles' fans are anxiously waiting for news of a big splash, but the question whether or not the front office staff will do so.
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