Is everyone refreshed after venting last night over the Adam Dunn news and, hopefully, getting a good night’s sleep?
There’s still plenty of time to patch the holes in your walls and apologize to the cat.
If you’re waiting breathlessly for the Orioles to reveal their minor league coaching staffs, it probably won’t happen until the middle of next week. A few openings might remain, but most of the names will be in place.
At least three affiliates will have a full-time extra coach, while the others could share roving instructors.
The Orioles are still deciding on an Aberdeen manager.
As for the non-tenders, you won’t find shortstops Jason Bartlett or J.J. Hardy to the list. They weren’t allowed to become free agents, which means the Orioles would have to trade for one of them.
George Sherrill was non-tendered by the Dodgers. Anyone up for a reunion?
As for Dunn...
Yes, the Orioles apparently offered him $40 million over four years. That’s what I was told late last night, which (not surprisingly) confirmed a report in The Sun.
I’ll eliminate one theory right away: President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail isn’t putting on a show for the fans by making offers that he secretly hopes are turned down. False hustle isn’t his style. At least, it hasn’t been for the entire time that I’ve covered the Orioles with him in charge.
I pushed for the Orioles to increase their offer to Mark Teixeira despite MacPhail being told early in the process that the first baseman wasn’t interested in coming to Baltimore. I felt like he had nothing to lose - end up with Teixeira or go down swinging from the heels and avoid the heated criticism - but he wasn’t going to increase his offer without agent Scott Boras coming back to him about the original one, and while knowing that the Orioles weren’t being considered. And MacPhail doesn’t publicize his offers. Remember that he won’t confirm his “aggressive” one to Paul Konerko. In his perfect world, nobody would know besides the players and agents.
Also, MacPhail isn’t sitting around with wads of cash in his hands and a frown on his face because he’s told that he can’t spend it.
So here we are, wondering why the Orioles bid 4/40 on Dunn when most industry folks thought $60 million was the ballpark figure, so to speak.
MacPhail made the opening bid and was told that the slugger could find a better offer elsewhere, which he did when the White Sox gave him a four-year, $56 million deal. Either MacPhail was hoping for a return call from Dunn’s agent, and the opportunity to increase the offer, or he felt that Dunn wasn’t worth more than $40 million.
MacPhail’s concession was adding a fourth year to the package. That wasn’t going to get it done without sweetening the pot.
If the Orioles were willing to go higher, it was an ultra-conservative opener. My feeling is they weren’t going to budge from $40 million. Apparently, we value Dunn more than the team. I certainly thought that the White Sox did quite well for themselves at $56 million, and I said so yesterday.
Konerko is still in play, though multiple reports state that the White Sox hope to re-sign him. General manager Kenny Williams confirmed it yesterday.
Konerko wants to stay in Chicago or be closer to his Arizona home - he’s got a beauty out there - and the White Sox train in Glendale. I haven’t checked a map, but Baltimore and Sarasota aren’t particularly close.
The Orioles preferred Martinez or Konerko over Dunn, judging by their offers. I’ve always preferred Dunn despite the nauseating strikeout totals and the fact that he plays first base as if he’s blindfolded and he just chugged a fifth of scotch. And he must not be too adverse to the DH role if he’s heading to the American League and could be dressing in the same clubhouse as Konerko.
The Orioles could trade for third baseman Mark Reynolds. Those discussions remain active, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if it happens. But they’ll need to be aggressive in signing a first baseman.
Baltimore remains a tough sell, even with Buck Showalter in the manager’s office. Agents aren’t rushing to the phone to seek increases in low opening offers, not when plenty of other teams are throwing around larger sums of cash.
The Orioles have a chance to be aggressive next week in Orlando, in face-to-face meetings with these representatives. It has to be done, or they’ll never get a Dunn.