Brian Roberts free agency: 2B could stay with Orioles

Greg Fiume

He has averaged just 48 games per season the past four years, but could be a mentor to top prospect Jonathan Schoop.

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter seems to expect second baseman Brian Roberts to return to the team for 2014, reports MASN Sports.

Showalter says he would be fine if the team decides to stick with its internal options at second base, which includes Roberts, who is now a free agent after finishing a four-year, $40 million deal. He is unlikely to command that kind of price again. The oft-injured second baseman played a total of 192 games over those four years, averaging just 48 games per season.

Roberts, 36, had been one of the best second baseman in the game before his injury woes began. He was a doubles machine and one of the premier base stealers in the league. A good eye at the plate allowed him to get on base at an above-average rate. He was also an excellent defensive player.

Over his last three seasons, however, Roberts has hit .231/.289/.344 with 10 stolen bases. With the Orioles poised to compete once again in 2014, Roberts may no longer be a viable starting option for the full year. However, as a part-time starter and mentor to top prospect Jonathan Schoop, he could prove to be invaluable.

Roberts has spent his entire 13-year career in Baltimore.

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