Brian Roberts and his agent Mark Pieper are "optimistic" that the Orioles and the former All-Star second baseman will reach an agreement on a two-year contract extension, which will be worth $13-14 million.
Roberts, 29, is signed for this season on a $4.2 million deal. $6.5-7 million for a player of Roberts' caliber may seem a bit expensive on first glance, but the truth is, Roberts is one of the best second basemen in baseball, and that's if he puts up numbers like 2006, and not his tremendous 2005 totals. With solid hitting and fielding and plus speed, Roberts really does stand out from the majority of the pack at second base. There just aren't that many good second basemen.
Plus, the Orioles have no one in line to replace him, and are unlikely to do as good at any cheaper of a price on the free agent or trade market. He should have more than enough good seasons left, and a two-year deal is pretty low-risk.
While he's not eligible for free agency until 2008, what does it hurt to show loyalty to and faith in one of your few homegrown successes of the past decade? He's not old and he is productive. Here's hoping the O's get it done, and we see Roberts in an O's uniform for a long time to come.