Bloomberg reported Thursday that billionaire businessman David Rubenstein is in talks to buy the Orioles, citing anonymous sources. The story also notes that “nothing has been finalized and talks may still fall apart.”

If such a deal were taking place, Rubenstein would be negotiating with the Angelos family, which holds a controlling interest in the ballclub of 70%.

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A spokesperson for Rubenstein, a Baltimore native, declined to comment when reached by The Baltimore Banner. A spokesperson for John Angelos, the CEO and chairman of the Orioles, did not return a request for comment.

Rubenstein, a City College graduate who co-founded the private equity firm the Carlyle Group, has been linked to the Orioles previously — including by Bloomberg last August. That report said he was considering making a bid for the Washington Nationals, in tandem with Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, and had previously been linked to Baltimore. He has a net worth, according to Bloomberg, of $4.6 billion.

It makes sense that he might have interest in buying a professional sports team, especially one in his hometown.

It just doesn’t make much sense — for a number of reasons and millions of dollars — for the Angelos family to be pondering a sale right now.

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1. Those development rights

The Baltimore Banner reported this week that John Angelos has no interest in signing a lease agreement that does not guarantee development rights for state-owned buildings and land at the Camden Yards complex. With good reason: A memorandum of understanding agreed to in September gave the Orioles those rights for a total of $94 million over 99 years.

That’s a very team-friendly deal — especially when you take inflation into account.

University of Maryland Baltimore County professor Dennis Coates, one of the preeminent voices on the economics of sports stadium deals, told The Baltimore Sun that the state’s haul in the deal was “a pitiful amount of money.” The Sun also reported that a 2019 study showed redevelopment of the warehouse alone “at a cost ranging between $16 million and $36 million ... could produce net operating income of $4.6 million to $7.1 million annually.”

So Angelos is poised to sign a deal that could earn him hundreds of millions (he could also opt for a near-term cash infusion by flipping the rights); that’s on top of the already promised $600 million for stadium improvements the team will unlock upon signing a deal.

Angelos appears focused on the development of the area around Oriole Park. In the spring, he and Gov. Wes Moore toured the Atlanta Braves’ stadium and the surrounding area known as The Battery, a mixed-use destination that features a concert venue, shops and restaurants surrounding the stadium.

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2. The MASN deal

The same reason the Washington Nationals have not sold yet is a reason for the Angelos family to keep the Orioles: a lopsided TV deal that lasts forever.

When Major League Baseball proposed moving the Montreal Expos to D.C., Orioles owner Peter Angelos complained about the infringement on his market. The league, therefore, created a deal whereby one regional sports network, MASN, would own the rights to both Orioles and the D.C. team’s games — and the Orioles would have a larger ownership stake in it.

The Orioles owned 90% of the network at the time of the deal, and therefore derived 90% of the revenue. Their share has decreased 1% every year since the early 2000s, but that will plateau in coming years and the Orioles will own 67% of MASN moving forward.

While it is true that regional sports networks have lost subscribers — MASN has gone from 5.6 million in 2018 to 3.3 million this year, according to The Washington Post — the fact remains: Controlling another team’s TV deal is an incredible perk.

3. The Orioles’ bright future

The young stars on the roster propelled the Orioles to their first American League East title since 2014 and won 101 games, and the vast majority of that roster will remain together for the next few years on team-friendly contracts. That’s a plus for Angelos — the total payroll remains in the bottom half of the league.

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The Angelos family hired general manager and Executive Vice President Mike Elias in 2018 to send the organization in a new direction, leaning into scouting and analytics to further player development. So far, it has worked. There are more players on the way, too, and a Dominican Republic training academy that is nearing completion.

But there’s also the knowledge that on the horizon, at least in theory, the Orioles will see an elevated payroll as they begin to lock in homegrown stars. Agent Scott Boras, for instance, said the team has reached out to him about extensions for Gunnar Henderson and Jackson Holliday.

Those won’t come cheaply. And, as a small market team, the Orioles will face the inevitable hurdles that come from earning less than division rivals such as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Even so, the winning ways in Baltimore in 2023 helped bring fans flocking back to Camden Yards, with the highest total attendance for a season since 2017.

The team’s agreement with the state also includes $600 million for stadium improvements. Those changes and a winning club should help elevate attendance further. It will take time, of course, for the stadium improvements to be in place. But the buzz around the team and fresh amenities should boost ticket sales and other revenue streams.

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Perhaps Georgia Angelos will receive an offer that is too good to turn down. But John Angelos has orchestrated a turnaround of the baseball team that required a long stretch of sustained losing, and he battled for a favorable lease that opens new ways for the team to make money. It would be surprising to see him cash out now.

4. Capital gains taxes

According to court documents emerging from the family’s legal battle, Orioles owner Peter Angelos’ health has declined due to a heart condition and dementia, leaving his wife to oversee their assets.

Georgia Angelos, then, has the final say whether the Orioles would explore a sale. According to court documents in 2022, Peter Angelos felt the family should sell the team upon his death so his wife “could enjoy the great wealth they had amassed together.” Ultimately, however, the court documents note the decision is “Georgia’s to make.”

The litigation from 2022 also states that Georgia Angelos hired “Goldman Sachs and Jones Day to provide investment banking and legal services in connection with the sale of the Orioles.”

The sale, however, would be unlikely before the death of Peter Angelos, 94. Angelos purchased the Orioles in 1993 for $173 million; according to Forbes, the team is now worth about $1.7 billion.

A sale before Peter’s death would leave the Angelos family open to capital gains taxes that could tally in the hundreds of millions of dollars. After Peter’s death, Georgia will fully inherit the team and would not be subject to those taxes.

Additionally, brothers John and Louis and their mother, Georgia, reached a settlement in their eight-month legal battle in February. The terms of the settlement — which could include a succession plan for the Orioles — were not disclosed publicly.