Is this the week? (updated)

Baseball activity usually slows down the week between Christmas and New Years, so this week could be relatively busy for the Orioles.

Keeping those fingers crossed.

Players generally prefer to be signed before the holidays to remove that distraction and plan their lives accordingly. Their families obviously share the burden. The exceptions, of course, usually involve Scott Boras.

Adam LaRoche figures to make his decision before the weekend. It's not like the market is growing for him. And it's not like the Orioles are going to sweeten their offer while waiting for him.

It's on the table. LaRoche and his agent are perfectly aware of it. Maybe they're hoping that a "mystery team" unexpectedly jumps into the bidding.

Each time that happens, Boras receives a check in the mail. He invented it.

It's crazy that we're making such a fuss over Adam LaRoche. No offense to the guy but, come on, it's Adam LaRoche we're talking about here. You would think we were waiting on Mark Teixeira.

LaRoche isn't a huge impact hitter, but he's a significant upgrade at first base. He's a 20-25 home run bat to go with Mark Reynolds in the middle of the order. He'd make the offseason look a whole lot better when you factor in J.J. Hardy and Koji Uehara, And it will jump another notch or two if Kevin Gregg signs, though I was more optimistic about that one while packing for Orlando.

(Too bad I didn't pack a jacket, but I digress...)

The Orioles should announce their minor league coaching staffs this week. They should know whether they've reeled in LaRoche and perhaps another bullpen arm. The veteran starter might have to wait until after Jan. 1, but I can live without it for the rest of 2010.

The Orioles can only control so much. The players have to accept or reject the offers. Putting a gun to their heads is frowned upon in the commissioner's office.

Here's hoping that these players finally feel a sense of urgency and make their decisions before everyone scatters for the holidays.

Let's get on with our lives.

Update: MASN's Jen Royle tweeted that the Orioles' three-year offer to LaRoche falls in the $21 million range, according to a source. Also, the Orioles contacted White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper regarding free-agent pitcher Freddy Garcia.

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