Latest LaRoche rumor and information on charity auction benefiting SU2C

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An executive of a team that's interested in Adam LaRoche told ESPN's Jayson Stark that the Orioles are going "hard" after the free agent first baseman.

The Orioles made LaRoche an offer two winters ago for two years and a vesting option. He turned them down. Now he's 33 and still looking for three guaranteed years for a reported $36 million. Former Orioles executive Andy MacPhail's offer came in around $22 million.

LaRoche's timing is pretty good, since he just won his first Silver Slugger Award and his first Gold Glove, and finished sixth in Most Valuable Player voting in the National League.

The report contradicts what executive vice president Dan Duquette has told reporters about being more likely to trade for a hitter. Also, it's unknown how this executive is aware of the Orioles' level of interest. Is he relaying information supplied by LaRoche's agent?

Three guaranteed years seems like a stretch. Plenty of people here doubt that the Orioles would go that far.

The market for LaRoche has been reduced with the Rays signing James Loney and the Red Sox signing Mike Napoli. The Nats remain firmly in the picture. They haven't walked away from LaRoche and he's expressed an interest in staying with them.

The Orioles covet the Royals' Billy Butler, but many industry types question whether they would give up the necessary pitching.

As always, stay tuned.

Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs have organized a charity auction benefiting "Stand Up to Cancer" (SU2C) as part of the annual Winter Meetings.

According to the press release, the initiative was inspired by the numerous cases of public relations officials who have been diagnosed with cancer in recent years.

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The auction begins Monday and will run live on MLB.com until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. It features more than 70 unique experiences and items donated by the 30 clubs and Major League Baseball.

* Be a Baltimore Orioles player for a day - eat with team, take batting practice and sit in the dugout during a spring training game.

* Ride on the Orioles' team bus to and from a road game in Washington, D.C.

* Receive a visit from Washington Nationals pitchers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard to your child's school and eat lunch with them in their cafeteria.

* Watch three innings of a Red Sox game behind the fabled Green Monster at Fenway Park.

* Receive a 30-minute guitar lesson from Cincinnati Reds All-Star pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

* Take batting practice at Progressive Field with the Cleveland Indians.

* Tour the Colorado Rockies clubhouse with All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

* Shoot a round of golf with Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy.

* Breakfast with All-Star Hunter Pence of the 2012 World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

* Spend spring training photo day with the St. Louis Cardinals.

* Eat lunch with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., new Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell or Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda of the Dodgers.

* Watch batting practice from the field of one of 14 Clubs, including the D-backs, Braves, White Sox, Cubs, Rockies, Tigers, Astros, Royals, Twins, Mets, Athletics, Mariners, Pirates or Rays.

* Receive pitching lessons from any of five Major League pitching coaches, including Jim Hickey (Rays) Rick Honeycutt (Dodgers), Charles Nagy (D-backs), Bryan Price (Reds), or Carl Willis (Mariners).

* Receive hitting instructions from D-backs hitting coach Don Baylor, Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton or Angels hitting coach Jim Eppard

* Work a one-day internship in the New York Yankees media relations department.

* Receive a 2013 MLB All-Star package including two tickets to All-Star Fan Fest, Taco Bell All-Star Sunday, Home Run Derby and the 84th All-Star Game in New York, plus a meet and greet with Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre

* Host a private party at your home with the Milwaukee Brewers Famous Racing Sausages.

* Attend meet-and-greets with past and present MLB players, managers and broadcasters, including Billy Beane, Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, Yoenis Cespedes, Terry Collins, Ron Darling, Terry Francona, Kirk Gibson, Keith Hernandez, Tim Hudson, Craig Kimbrel, Evan Longoria, Joe Maddon, Brian McCann, Bob Melvin, David Price, Josh Reddick, Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, Hall of Famer Vin Scully and 2012 American League Rookie of the Year Mike Trout.

* Take a tour of the MLB Network studio with the hosts and sit behind-the-scenes during a taping of a show of choice.

Additional experiences offered include autographed memorabilia, private ballpark tours, suite tickets and more.

A complete listing of the experiences and items in the auction can be found here.

This initiative is especially meaningful to the Orioles, whose director of public relations, Monica Barlow (picture above right), is batting Stage 4 cancer. She joined representatives from each club and MLB for this afternoon's press conference, all of them wearing SU2C T-shirts. It provided the most powerful scene of the Winter Meetings, one that cannot be topped by any trade or free agent signing.

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