I don't think the Orioles relocating is realistic. At all. All of these problems: MASN, the pandemic, losing seasons are all leading people to worry that a relocation happens. That's understandable from a psychological standpoint, but it doesn't pass any form of the logical test.
First and foremost, every single franchise is facing some sort of economic hardship because of the pandemic. Put quite frankly, losing turnstile revenue (which includes: ticket sales, food, merchandise, parking) is a major hit. The fact that we're in 2021 and this pandemic is still raging and we're lagging as all get-out (Maryland is #44 out of 50 states, which is an embarrassment), means there's going to be more economic hardship for these ballclubs. Season ticket sales are now at a much larger standstill in back to back years, after already being hit hard because season ticket purchasers don't want to see a losing team.
So, my point in all of this: this is an issue everywhere. Clubs are finding ways to cut costs. Some of them have been more exorbitant in spending, and those are most likely teams that are *winning*. But small and mid-market teams? Not so much. And I don't anticipate this to get any better, any time soon. Certainly not until we start seeing stadiums open up for 75%+ capacity. To that end, why on Earth would *any* ballclub lock in much longer extension than 2 years? 2 years gives a club time to evaluate the economic landscape due to pandemic. It doesn't mean that they're using these 2 years to eventually setup a relocation package.
Nashville isn't a particular exciting place for a ball club. They have a slightly larger population than Baltimore, but they don't have nearly the same metro population as Baltimore does. And the other thing: a ball club that relocates in the middle of losing seasons, under new management, during a pandemic is going to hemorrhage fans. There's no ifs, ands or buts around it. You can kiss a significant portion of the Baltimore Orioles fanbase goodbye. And they're also contending against other metro areas: Braves, Cardinals, White Sox, Reds, Indians, etc. You think contending with the Nationals is bad, just wait until you end up dealing with the south and the midwest. That is not a particularly sexy place or circumstance to deal with. At all.
Furthermore, clubs don't relocate in MLB. They just build new stadiums or rename themselves (minor). This isn't the NFL where it's a common occurrence.
To me, it's this. Any reasonable business would be evaluating *all* leases. I'll just say, my business (which is located out of California) has paid significant lease costs for our office space, but we've only went with 6 month lease extensions while we evaluate better options. But, we are also negotiating costs with our existing landlord. It's 100% in the Orioles best interest to get the best deal with the MSA, and if that means going with a temporary 2 year extension while they work out grander plans for the next 5 years or beyond, that makes more sense than sticking themselves with a 7 year extension (or whatever it'd be).
Also, why on Earth would any club be building a new stadium, especially in an unknown location with there being severe unknowns on how this pandemic impacts fan behaviour (going vs. watching). It's incredibly risky. It just doesn't make any sense.
My gut is that in 2023, the Orioles and the MSA worked out a longer extension with plans to renovate Camden Yards infrastructure. They're not relocating anywhere.
Now, if you ask me whether or not the Orioles would *sell* their team, that I'm still bearish on. But that is probable. Relocating isn't. I'd bet against both happening, personally. But I'd be comfortable putting money down (significant amounts) that the Orioles don't relocate. Certainly not to Nashville.
One last thing, winning fixes everything. We've seen the Orioles do well with fans when they win. That's the biggest determinant (outside of a pandemic). Win, make it sustainable, do well with the community, and you'll do great. That's it.