Longtime Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts retires after 14 seasons
Longtime Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts is retiring after 14 MLB seasons, Roberts told Roch Kubatko of MASN.
Roberts spent nearly his entire career with the Orioles, playing for the team from 2001-13 before finishing with the New York Yankees this season. Robert told Kubatko he'll always be an Oriole and that he fully enjoyed his time with the team.
The Chapel Hill, N.C., native was selected by Baltimore with the No. 50 pick in the 1999 MLB amateur draft out of South Carolina. After two seasons in the minors, Roberts made his debut with the Orioles in June 2001, hitting .253 in 75 games for the team that year.
Roberts became the team's full-time starting second baseman in 2004 and earned an All-Star appearance in 2005 when he hit .314 with a .903 OPS, 18 home runs and 45 doubles. From 2005-09, which included another All-Star Game appearance in 2007, Roberts combined to hit .294 with an .820 OPS and averaged 13 home runs and 46 doubles per season.
Roberts struggled with injuries over the next four seasons, playing in a total of 192 games, including a career-low 17 games in 2012.
He missed significant time with an abdomen injury in 2010, concussion issues in 2011 and 2012, a torn labrum in 2012 and a torn hamstring in 2013.
The Orioles declined to re-sign Roberts after the 2013 season and he was picked up by the Yankees. In 91 games with New York this season, Roberts hit .237 with a .659 OPS.
Baltimore struggled for most of Roberts's tenure with the team, finishing higher than fourth place in the American League East just once from 2001-11. But Roberts was on the teams that made the playoffs in 2012 and had a winning record last season, the franchise's sole two winning seasons since 1997.
- Ben Estes