Still waiting for LaRoche

Howard Megdal at mlbtraderumors.com posted the top five Phillies general managers since 1960, with Paul Owens placing first. I suppose we could do the same thing here with the Orioles. Feel free to submit your top five GMs in franchise history. Extra credit if you include the reasons.

Homework on a Saturday? That's so not fair!

The Orioles still haven't announced their minor league coaching staffs because they're waiting for a few contracts to come back. Should happen early next week.

Then again, I thought it would happen at the Winter Meetings, so what do I know?

Wish I could floor you with an Adam LaRoche update, but I have none. The Nationals reportedly have made Derrek Lee their No. 1 target. If that's true and they've cooled on LaRoche, how could the Orioles possibly lose out on this guy?

They apparently have a three-year offer on the table for LaRoche (club officials won't confirm or deny.) The Nationals were considered to be their primary competition. The Orioles are considered to be the Nationals' primary competition for Lee.

Somehow, that makes sense.

My solution: The Nats sign Lee, the Orioles sign LaRoche and we get on with our lives.

Or the Nats sign LaRoche and the Orioles sign Lee and we get on with our lives.

Lee seems more likely to take a one-year deal. LaRoche wants three. Whatever. If I'm the Orioles, I'm not worried about blocking anyone at first base.

If Brandon Snyder suddenly looks like an everyday major league first baseman, the Orioles can find a way to get his bat in the lineup. Or if Josh Bell ends up moving across the diamond and suddenly looks like an everyday major league first baseman. Again, whatever. It would be a wonderfully pleasant problem to have - an abundance of talent and no place to put it.

I know it happens in other organizations.

That would leave the Orioles looking for another reliever or two - Kevin Gregg remains in play and they'd still like to add a left-hander - and a veteran starter to provide rotation depth in spring training.

Here are the remaining free-agent starters. Kevin Millwood is still out there:

Brian Bannister (30)
Jeremy Bonderman (28)
Brian Burres (30)
Dave Bush (31)
Bruce Chen (34)
Doug Davis (35)
Justin Duchscherer (33)
Jeff Francis (29)
Freddy Garcia (35)
Braden Looper (36)
Rodrigo Lopez (35)
John Maine (30)
Pedro Martinez (39)
Kevin Millwood (36)
Brian Moehler (39)
Carl Pavano (35)
Brad Penny (33)
Andy Pettitte (39)
Nate Robertson (33)
Ben Sheets (32)
Ian Snell (29)
Jeff Suppan (36)
Jarrod Washburn (36)
Brandon Webb (32)
Todd Wellemeyer (32)
Chris Young (32)

Pavano intrigues the Orioles, but the feeling is he wants in excess of three years and $30 million. That's not going to happen here.

And finally, if you're in the Eldersburg area, check out The Cork that opened about 10 days ago on Liberty Road. Great wine bar, and the food is spectacular. I defy you to find a better cream of tomato soup. The grilled cheese included brie and thin slices of pear.

Hey, it was cold outside and there was snow on the ground. I needed comfort food.

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