Eric Bickel, a radio host on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, said Tuesday that he had heard Angelos was quietly discussing a sale of the Orioles. Bickel said Angelos was looking to sell the team but not his majority share in the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which broadcasts Orioles and Washington Nationals games.
MASN is probably worth more than the team, and the Orioles would be a significantly less appealing purchase if the network was not included, according to investment bankers familiar with the baseball industry.Many fans were excited by the mere notion of Angelos wanting to sell the team, showing just how fed up they are with Angelos's stranglehold on the franchise. The O's 14 consecutive losing seasons are not just Angelos's fault, of course, but his unwillingness to make more personnel and front office changes or to try anything other than the status quo has been damaging. And for now, at least, he's keeping the team.
It's not official yet, but according to Roch Kubatko of MASN, Major League Baseball will void the contract of 17-year-old pitcher Seong-Min Kim. Basically, the O's failed to follow standard protocol in signing Kim, which led to complaints by the Korean Baseball Organization and then O's scouts being banned by the Korean Baseball Association. Kubatko also notes that the O's "could be facing some sort of punishment, and they will have to restart the negotiating process at a later date if they still want to bring Kim into the organization."
Some, most notably Keith Law, have stated that Kim isn't exactly a prized prospect, so the O's inability to follow protocol in this case is puzzling. It's possible that the O's are able to sign Kim at a later date, but hopefully they're able to improve their baseball relations in Korea. Simply signing Kim would be nice, but it's not worth breaking the rules and causing even more negative publicity. I respect that Dan Duquette is so focused on pursuing players internationally, which is something the O's haven't focused much on, but they still must, you know, follow the rules.
On Tuesday, the O's avoided arbitration with Adam Jones with a one-year, $6.15 million contract. He has one arbitration-eligible year left and then he's a free agent. Apparently Jones is seeking a contract extension, but according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, "the Orioles would need to offer him at least five years, according to major-league sources."
Does anyone think that's going to happen? Jones is an impressive talent, and at 26, he could very well have his best season this year. But he would have to improve in nearly all phases of the game to become a star player, and even so, the O's are not close to contending with him. Obviously that's not all his fault, but he may be a bit overrated by O's fans.
The O's could very well deal Jones this summer, when he'll still have one year of team control left. If he's putting together a fantastic season, he would be even more valuable, and that would only improve what he would command in a possible trade. The good news is that Duquette seems to recognize trading Jones only makes sense for young, high-upside prospects. He wasn't willing to part with Jones in a potential deal with the Braves that reportedly didn't include prospects.
Watching Jones is a lot of fun, and I've said before that he's probably my favorite player on the team. But paying Jones a chunk of money to be a decent player probably isn't in the team's best interest -- just take a look at Nick Markakis's deal. Jones may end up being more valuable as a trade piece.