Pearce move brings more questions

The Orioles opened a spot on their 40-man roster yesterday and opened up themselves for more rumors and speculation.

Steve Pearce was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, the latest twist in a bizarre 2012 for the outfielder/first baseman/weary traveler.

Let's review:

March 27: Released by the Minnesota Twins
March 29: Signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees
June 2: Purchased by the Orioles from the Yankees
July 28: Selected off waivers by the Houston Astros
Aug. 27: Purchased by the Yankees
Sept. 29: Selected by the Orioles
Nov. 30: Reached contract agreement with the Orioles
Dec. 21: Outrighted to Norfolk.

The Orioles reacquired Pearce three months ago despite the deadline passing for teams to add players to their postseason rosters. They wanted him in the organization. They wanted him at spring training. And they gambled that he wouldn't be claimed this week.

Minutes after I passed along the news on Pearce yesterday, I received the following tweets:

@Epiphone81: Another signing perhaps?
@Bryan_E_Thomas: Must be making room for someone???? Interesting
@iAMthebeanstalk: Does that imply "impeding move"? Or just trying to create space if a move is needed?
‏@JJohnson2224: Does that mean Saunders will be signed?
@ERICWOOD22: So does that mean they are up to something to fill that spot?
‏@littlemac0809: Sounds like a precursor to signing, ummm Saunders maybe!!!
@cfair75: Any chance something is happening to add somebody?
@RichardDent8: Making moves Roch?
@MDcustoms_37: Making room for Laroche?
@brazier_jeff: Something brewing?
@jsyoung23: A sign of a signing!?
@adonijah4186: So is there any word of a move in the makings for the reason we opened a roster spot?
@fsizzle5: What are your thoughts on why they are making room on the 40 man roster could this mean they may be adding someone new?
@MMeyerer: Hopefully the Pierce move means a trade/FA sign is coming!
@DaCanMan: With the open roster spot, is that a signal of something going down? Besides the end of the world.

Then there's this gem:

@d_taradavi: Must be making room for major FA signing from Can-Am League

I see what you did there.

No deal was announced yesterday, but executive vice president Dan Duquette wanted to open a spot on the roster. May as well avoid the holiday rush.

The Orioles are trying hard to re-sign left-hander Joe Saunders, but at what price? He's going to exceed the one-year, $2.5 million deal (with another $2.5 million possible in incentives) that left-hander John Lannan signed with the Phillies.

ESPN's Buster Olney sent this tweet last night: Joe Saunders is receiving interest from four clubs and the Orioles have ramped up their efforts to retain him. It seems Saunders would be in position to get more than the two-year, $15MM deal signed by Joe Blanton.

It's good to be Joe Saunders these days. Apparently, there's a mini-bidding war going on for him.

At what point do the Orioles drop out? What are the odds that he returns in 2013?

Stay tuned.

Adam LaRoche still wants a three-year deal. He still can't find a team willing to give him one, and the Nationals reportedly are getting a little impatient.

I mentioned earlier this week that Double-A Bowie field coach Denny Hocking had emerged as a strong candidate to replace Bobby Dickerson as minor league infield coordinator. Hocking tweeted yesterday that he would have big news to share after Christmas.

Just saying ...

Shameless plug alert: I'm joining Tom Davis and Dave Johnson for the latest installment of "Wall to Wall Baseball" from 11 a.m.-noon on MASN.

Shameless plug alert II: I'm joining Jim Hunter for the second installment of the "Hot Stove Baseball" show from 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. on WBAL Radio. Pitchers Jim Johnson and Jason Hammel, and outfielder Adam Greenberg will call into the show.

Got any questions for them? Let me know.

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