MacPhail: No deadline imposed on LaRoche

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail says the club hasn’t imposed a deadline for free agents to accept their offers, which means Adam LaRoche can continue to mull his options while the Orioles resume talks with other players.

MacPhail didn’t reveal names, but it’s clear that LaRoche hasn’t been given a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum.

“I’m not a big deadline guy,” MacPhail said. “There’s nothing to prevent you from talking to other people in certain scenarios. I don’t know that you gain a lot with deadlines. There are some circumstances where deadlines are probably appropriate, but we’re still months away from spring training.”

As you’ve read countless times, the Orioles could choose to shift their focus to a designated hitter if they fail to sign LaRoche or Derrek Lee. However, it’s not inconceivable that they settle for a lower-tier first baseman - you’ve seen the list - rather than move Luke Scott to first and worry about his defense.

“We have a variety of options there,” MacPhail said.

MacPhail has no idea whether the Orioles will reach agreement with a free agent before the weekend or during the following week. Again, as you’ve read countless times, all it takes is one phone call. And his cell won’t be turned off for the holidays.

If we’re ranking the needs that the club is likely to fill, a veteran starting pitcher still falls behind first baseman and reliever. And it now seems less likely that the Orioles will sign another utility guy to compete with Brendan Harris and Robert Andino.

As you’ve read countless times, Cesar Izturis has one spot locked up.

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