We have a theme going here.
As you might have noticed, another shopping day bit the dust yesterday. We’re down to a precious few.
I’ve got errands to run this morning, but my laptop goes everywhere I go, so I’ll pass along any news that might break.
It usually stays in my trunk. It doesn’t sit on the passenger seat with the window cracked.
In case you hadn’t heard, the Orioles need a first baseman. They’d like to add at least one more reliever, a veteran starter and another utility player to challenge Brendan Harris and Robert Andino. And they’d like to get it done before pitchers and catchers report in two months.
I’d like to get at least one of them done before I report to Ocean Pines on Monday, but this isn’t about me.
Adam LaRoche is dragging his feet for unknown reasons, though it’s fair to question his enthusiasm for the Orioles. I guess those 13 straight losing seasons carry a stigma.
Paul Konerko never was a serious option because the front office believed he wouldn’t come to Baltimore. Everyone expected him to remain in Chicago, which he did after the usual rumblings that talks had hit a snag.
They did until White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf hit the “talk” button on his cell phone and arranged another meeting with agent Craig Landis.
We’re pretty much down to LaRoche and Derrek Lee, two players who have drawn past interest from the Orioles - in Lee’s case, the distant past. And it would be hard to come away without one of them, considering the overall lack of suitors.
Am I supremely confident it will happen? Not anymore. I’m just saying it would be difficult to whiff on both of them.
The Nationals remain in the picture, and I’m standing by my suggestion that the teams split what’s left. Close your eyes and point. Throws darts at a board. Draw the names out of a hat. Whatever.
Lee would seem to be the easier negotiation because he’s more likely to settle for one year. LaRoche wants three years. However, neither guy gives off that “I’d love to be an Oriole” vibe.
Again, 13 straight losing seasons.
The Orioles won’t sit around and wait for LaRoche to make a decision while the market dries up. They never closed the door on Lee, but LaRoche was more of a priority. But he’s testing their patience - and ours - so Lee will get more attention.
The assumption remains that the Orioles will focus more on a designated hitter if LaRoche and Lee sign elsewhere. Defense remains an important ingredient to manager Buck Showalter, but again, the club controls only half the equation. It’s up to the player to agree to terms.
I’m fine with Lee for a year. It would be nicer if Brandon Snyder had put together the kind of season at Triple-A Norfolk that suggested he could be the everyday first baseman next summer, but blocking him no longer is a consideration.
The Orioles haven’t given up on Snyder, but they won’t wait around for him, either.