“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.