Roberts's Future Is A Priority

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 28, 2008

BALTIMORE, Sept. 27 -- During the Baltimore Orioles' off day on Thursday, Brian Roberts flipped through channels and stopped when he came across games with playoff implications.

"That's what baseball's all about, seeing those teams going at it, the excitement," said Roberts, who has yet to play for a winning team while with the Orioles. "That's what you play for. That's what you want. Every player wants that and wants to go through that, and I'm no different."

But whether Roberts will ever have that experience as an Oriole remains a question. With Roberts entering the final year of his contract -- throwing into question his long-term status with the team -- the Orioles will be faced with a decision: Either agree to extend Roberts or trade him before he walks via free agency.

"Winning is something that's very high on my priority list at this point," said Roberts, who turns 31 next month. "And I'd like to do it here."

Both Roberts and team president Andy MacPhail said the subject has yet to be broached, though Manager Dave Trembley said he expects Roberts to be back.

As the Orioles' leadoff man, the two-time all-star has enjoyed another solid season, hitting .297. Roberts has 51 doubles, 40 stolen bases and has scored 107 runs, ranking in the AL's top five in each.

Cabrera Might Not Be Back

The Orioles may face a decision on right-hander Daniel Cabrera. Through arbitration, he could make upward of $3 million next season, though the Orioles could choose not to make an offer. Cabrera endured familiar struggles this season, finishing 8-10 with 5.25 ERA. He leads the AL in wild pitches (15), hit batsmen (18) and is second in walks (90).

"He's got to throw more strikes," Trembley said. "He's not the lone ranger in that category but for Daniel, I think it comes down to throwing strikes, not walking people and whether or not he can do that."

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