The Baltimore Orioles Are Quietly For Sale

The big rumor swirling around Baltimore is that Peter Angelos is quietly shopping the Orioles. Eric Bickel of 106.7 The Fan in D.C. disclosed the news Tuesday morning on The Sports Junkies.

“It’s my understanding that the Baltimore Orioles are quietly for sale,” Bickel told listeners.  “Peter Angelos is actively selling the team at least privately to some people around him.”

Rumors of the Orioles being for sale have surfaced among fans before.  Angelos purchased the franchise with a team of investors in 1993 for $173 million.  In his 19 years of ownership, the Orioles have only recorded three winning seasons.

Bickel says that Angelos’ agreements with the Nationals and MASN have a minimum sale price for the Orioles franchise.  “My understanding is that the number that was being floated around last night was $365 [million].”  He added that this asking price “isn’t enticing” to potential buyers because Angelos wants to retain the TV rights.

The Junkies said that it’s their belief that the Orioles make the majority of their money through MASN and that the team either loses money or breaks even.

“All of the people that you think would be interested are interested,” Bickel added.  When asked if Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was a possible buyer, Bickel responded,  “I’m not saying anything.”

I came away both excited and frustrated by the details of a potential Orioles sale.  It’s great news for fans if Angelos is looking to sell, but if he retains the rights to MASN then the Orioles have zero payroll flexibility.  If you thought that they were cheap before, they’d be 100 times more stingy without access to the TV revenue stream.

It certainly will be interesting to see if any more details emerge in the coming days.  Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com.  You can follow him on Twitter @zamwi or send him an email: zach@baltimoresportsreport.com.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

17 Comments

  1. spy

    February 15, 2012 at 9:39 am

    To quote a famous line from an old TV show,,,Very Interesting……….

    • gcowles

      February 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      To finish the quote…… Veeely intelesting, but stoopid!

  2. Dan

    February 15, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Sell EVERYTHING to Cal! As said in M&T in the 1st quarter of every game: DON’T BE A JERK Angelos! You’ve been a jerk to us for long enough!

    • Orioles LOVE

      February 15, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Didn’t your momma teach you that if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it at all!!!

      • Brian

        February 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm

        Dan is right on.

  3. OsFan

    February 15, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Angelos retaining the rights to MASN doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not a lawyer, but wouldn’t MASNs value be taxable under the estate tax once Angelos dies? He IS 80 million years old. I don’t think it’s a coincidence he’s shopping the team around now. The guy can’t live forever. Secondly, how is it fair or how does it make any sense to have a minimum sale price for the O’s tied to an agreement with the Nats and MASN if whomever buys the team doesn’t get revenue from MASN? Like… what? I don’t understand how that language can be in the contract if it allows Angelos to continue to profit of MASN. Wouldn’t the Os and MASN be a package deal?

    • spy

      February 15, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Right on , if the MASN rights are not part of the sale , the new ownership will be at a disadvantage when writing paychecks,,,,,,this new owner will need all the dollars it can generate to turn convert a minor league team to a major league team,,,,,,,,than maybe baseball would be alive again in Baltimore , I hope so………….

      Hope springs eternal , I believe all O’s fans have a bit of hope today…………

  4. matt

    February 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

    MASN would be a better chip to help sell the team, but the TV deal rights don’t hurt the Angelos family in the event of estate taxes like ownership of the team do…MASN deal brings in $$Millions annually so it would pay for itself. Not so with the team. The value of the asset is not liquid so the tax would be hefty and hard to comeby. MASN is the opposite. That being said…SELL IT ALL AND START WINNING ALREAY!!!

  5. Cereal_Blogger

    February 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

    If Angelos sells the team but holds on to MASN, the team would have payroll flexibility depending on who the new owner is. It would be nice if MASN were included b/c by many accounts its a goldmine however Ill take whatever it takes to get new ownership. It may make sense for Angelos to sell the team, the club probably drains Angelos’ bottom line while MASN gives it a huge boost.

  6. Zeppers

    February 15, 2012 at 11:33 am

    If PA would still retain 51% of the MASN rights however the new owner gets 49%, he/she would make a nice profit at the end of the day.

  7. Pingback: Are the Orioles for sale? | HardballTalk

  8. Tom

    February 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Please don’t toy with me. I’m so disgusted with this franchise. I want my boys to have a great team to follow just like I did in the 70s and 80s. So again, please don’t make things up that will get my hopes up. Angelos needs to go.

  9. MGW

    February 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    One can only hope this is true. But…

    Where do you fans think Cal Ripken is coming up with $365 million? He could be a minority owner, but he doesn’t have that kind of net worth.

    Let’s just hope it’s not sold to the highest bidder who uses the team much like Angelos has, that is to generate revenue.

  10. Ol' Bruz

    February 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Just found another reason to dislike Uncle Peter tonight…His wiki says he was born in Pittsburgh…Arghhhhhhhhhhh!

  11. Name (required)

    February 17, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Bickel is an idiot and a man-child. Don’t listen to his raving fantasies.

  12. Paul

    February 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Maybe this is just “Sports Junk” from the “Sports Junkies” Kind of like spam rumors. Been an O’s fan since the early ’60′s. I was lucky enough to see many HOF’ers. I hope this is the real deal.

  13. Jack

    February 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I have a pretty good source that their are two teams working together to purchase the orioles from Angelos. The majority ownership is a group led by Cal Ripken and the minority ownership is a group led by Steve Bisciotti and Ray Lewis.