Orioles, Roberts Close on Contract

Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Baltimore Orioles are close to signing second baseman Brian Roberts to a one-year, $4.2 million contract, thereby avoiding arbitration, according to one source close to the negotiations. The move could be finalized today, though the Orioles did not wish to comment directly on the deal.

"We continue to have discussions on a multiyear deal," Orioles Vice President Jim Duquette said. Signing Roberts to a one-year deal "doesn't preclude us from signing an extension. We thought it best to get the one-year deal done."

One Orioles source said the Colorado Rockies approached Baltimore several weeks ago about the possibility of trading for first baseman Todd Helton, who was recently rumored to be headed to the Boston Red Sox. The Orioles lost interest because the Rockies wanted Baltimore to pay a significant portion of the $90 million owed to the first baseman.

-- Jorge Arangure Jr.

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