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December 2, 2010

Paul Konerko courting, Take 2

Call this the “Courting of Paul Konerko 2.0.”

The first version occurred in the 2005 offseason, when the Orioles’ brass had a clandestine meeting with Konerko and offered a five-year, $65 million deal to the then 29-year-old first baseman. He decided to stay with the Chicago White Sox for $5 million less, prompting more jokes about the Orioles’ “Confederate money.”

(I’m still quoting Syd Thrift all these years later. God rest his soul.)

I remember asking Konerko on his conference call with the Chicago media about how close he was to coming to Baltimore. Either his interest was genuine or he is a heck of an actor. He gushed about how impressed he was with the Orioles' front office at the time and how he really was flattered by the club’s full-court press. He loved everything about Baltimore, he said, but his heart was in Chicago.

So why is this time around any different?

Honestly, there are several Orioles officials who believe it won’t be. They think Konerko will listen and, perhaps even consider the Orioles intently, but ultimately choose the White Sox or a team closer to his Arizona home. And courting him will be another exercise in futility.

Those who know Konerko say it would be tough for him to sign with any club that doesn’t train in Arizona because he wants to stay with his young family as long as he can.

But there are some significant differences between 2005 and now when it comes to Konerko. Remember, back then Konerko was choosing between his former team that had just won the World Series and an Orioles’ squad that arguably had the most tumultuous season in baseball history -- following the legendary second half collapse that included the Palmeiro and Tejada scandals.

Plus, there was tremendous pressure back then to keep that World Series team together, and Konerko was such a huge part of that. It would have been a huge PR hit for the White Sox to lose Konerko at that time.

That’s not to say South Siders want to give up on the guy who was their best player in 2010, but now there’s a sense in Chicago that the White Sox need to get younger. And as much as Konerko is beloved there, signing a player who will be 35 during spring training to a multi-year doesn’t exactly signal a youth movement.

And Konerko seemingly is more prepared to move on this time, the way most veteran athletes are as they get older and their circumstances change.

All of that demonstrates why Konerko might leave Chicago. But he’d still have to choose the Orioles, a last-place team on the East Coast, for his next address. And that seems like a longshot.

That said, the Orioles really could use Konerko. He fills several needs: a legitimate power hitter who plays first base, bats right-handed and brings winning experience and a veteran presence. He is one of the more well-respected professionals in the game.

Yes, he’ll be 35 and people have been waiting for his body to break down or his skills to erode for a few years now. And there’s a concern that his huge 2010 – which included 39 homers, 111 RBIs, a .312 batting average and career highs in on-base percentage (.394) and slugging percentage (.584) – was the product of a walk year and that he’s setting up his next team for an expensive fall.

But the Orioles have little choice. Their perfect free agent first baseman – Victor Martinez – is off the board and the other candidates are left-handed hitters, flawed or both.

So it’ll be interesting to see if Konerko and the Orioles can be a fit this time, or if he’s just another date to the dance that goes home with someone else.



Posted by Dan Connolly at 7:00 AM | | Comments (45)
        

Comments

I'm sure this offer is just like Tex's offer a few years ago "Here is an opening offer, get back to us if your interested". Can't imagine Andy wasting time on a player who won't come here. Setting themselves up to be laughed at yet again as the team nobody wants to play for isn't worth the few days of hope it gives the fans.

As much as I would love to see Konerko here I'd rather they spent time and effort on someone who will actually sign here.

Dan, what's Konerko's rep as a defensive first baseman? He's probably to the point in his career where he might start sliding gradually into the DH role at any rate.

--

I've talked to a couple people about this and apparently he is fine. One observer said he had one of his better years with the glove in 2010. Range is OK to below average but his ability to get balls out of the dirt is above average. In other words, not Teixeira but not a liability.

But the Orioles have little choice. Their perfect free agent first baseman – Victor Martinez – is off the board and the other candidates are left-handed hitters, flawed or both


You know doing a trade isn't such a bad option either! There are other alternatives! Apparently though signing Old Timers is now apart of the plan.

Lastly, the way I hear it these folks are available too.

Great Hitters
Leon "Bull" Durham
Andre"Hawk"Dawson
Dave"King Kong" Kingman
Bill "Between the Pins" Buckner

Even Greater Pitchers
Rick Sutcliffe
Lee Smith
Bruce Sutter
Mike Krukow

And for giggles
Jody Davis

They are all "Jonesing" for some action.
Make it happen Andy, make it happen!

Big props to Drew at WNST for breaking this story.

It is indisputable that the Orioles have to overpay significantly to get a top free agent, and that will not happen with Konerko, or anyone for that matter. While Angelos and McPhail are willing to spend money this year, it is not in their DNA to overspend or to make a trade where they are not convinced that they got the far better end of the deal. And so it goes....

Wishful thinking about how this is different than it was in 2005. Konerko will resign with the WhiteSox; he won't be coming here except for the road trip the ChiSox make during the season. Hope I'm wrong but I doubt I am. The O's will probably wind up with Carlos .196 Pena.

I admit konerko is not everything we need in a FA this off season due to his age but he fits the bill more than anyone else.. If they got him I would then make a big push to try to trade for reynolds at 3B. Add a SS and fill in some pitching depth and Buck can begin planning lineups.

Dan/Jeff,

Wouldn't it make more sense for the O's to go all in on Adam Dunn, rather than Konerko/Lee?

He's the best available hitter on the market, and he's significantly younger than the other two. He seems more open than ever to DHing based on reports, and a 4/60 deal is apparently what he wants and seems more than reasonable.

I understand that the O's are looking to get better against lefties, and that Lee/Konerko both have great career numbers vs. lefties. But Dunn is no slouch against lefties, either (.817 career OPS).

Plus, it seems like they can fill their RH hitting void at 3B and SS via trade.

Mark Reynolds has a career OPS of .908 against lefties, and was even at .913 last year when he hit under .200 overall.

Both Hardy and Bartlett have career OPS numbers over .825 against lefties.

It seems to me that 3B and SS can be filled via trade without having to give up their premium pitching talent, so they should really be able to open up the checkbook for a guy like Dunn.

Thoughts?

--
Dan's take: Dunn is a good player, but some in the organization view him as similar to Luke Scott -- with more power and a bigger price tag. But both are LH hitters, as you mention, and are limited defensively. Dunn is more than limited defensively. Konerko weill cost you less in terms of an overall contract and, theoretically, that allows them to do more budget-wise. And, if they can add a guy like Reynolds at third, Konerko on the other corner cuts down on the feast-or-famine approach. But don't get me wrong, Dunn would be an excellent addition.

It would be foolish to expect Konerko to repeat his 2010 numbers next year or any year in the future. But something closer to his career numbers would be reasonable - .280/.350/.490/.840. I'd take that for 150 games next year, and something between that and .825 OPS for the next 2-3 years afterwards. If they can sign Gonzalez next year, Konerko can primarily DH and Scott becomes available in trade. More likely they are not getting AGonz either. So it makes sense to see if they can get Konerko to come to Baltimore this time around.

I don't think he will. But give it a shot. I think he is likely to outperform VMart over the next two years anyway. But if the price on VMart was 4/50 and the Orioles were at 4/48, I don't know what it will take to sign Konerko, in Baltimore or anywhere else.

My question is; Why have the Orioles not been connected with making an offer to Vlad Guerrerro?

I know he's a pure DH at this point, but I'm not so sure that Scott would be that poor of an option at 1b. Guerrerro could probably still hit until he's 40. I don't understand the reluctance to offer the guy a 2 yr deal.

Right now it would seem that 2 yr./ 20m would get it done for him. That would leave the O's flexibility to go after another more premium FA option and keep their pitching.

Would Scott at 1b be that much poorer then Konerko defensively?

--
Probablly not. Luke is a good athlete and works as hard as anyone. It's just a new position to him professionally (he did it in college). But Konerko has been at first for a long time.

Hey if these trends continue with the Orioles going after older players. They will be the 1st team ever to supply an Old Timers Game with the Current Roster! The Orioles are in the record books for all the wrong reasons anyway, why not add another!

Another hot tip for the Orioles to bring back the fans would be to have "Nickel Beer Night"

http://media.photobucket.com/image/disco%20stu%20if%20these%20trends%20continue/emperormajora/discostu.jpg

I'm on board with bringing Konerko here. While I'm leery of overpaying for a career year (especially for someone who will play next season at 35), Konerko is a massive upgrade over what we had a 1B last year even if his stats regress some. His career 162-game average is .280/.356/.498 with 32 HR and 101 RBI. I'll take that in the middle of the lineup.

No thanks to Reynolds at 3rd base. This is a guy with a career 240 BA coming off a 198 season, has struck out over 200 times a year for three years running and who doesn't rate a mention at the fielding bible as far as defence is concerned.

Go after Derek Jeter. He may be over his "prime", but he is a leader and a fine shortstop. He is still a good clutch hitter, and what better way than to challenge the Yankees?

Is there any chance the Orioles could trade some of their prime youth for a top rated minor league player who plays first or third? Justin Smoak would have been an attractive candidate, although I seriously doubt the Mariners would ever want to trade youth with the Os again! Are there any other possibilities out there at first or third?

---

Unless they are blocked by a great big-league player, teams are reluctat to trade their young cheap guys -- especially for another system's young players. usually teams believe in their own system first.

I am glad that the O's decided to invite Konerko to the team again. As mentioned above, the circumstances have changed. The O's are much improved - just look at the last two months of last season. If he, or Dunn, gets in the middle of the lineup, all of those onbase runners at the top of the lineup will come home instead of being left on base. The O's have no problem getting men on base, but getting them home is another thing entirely.

If the O's aren't able to land a slugger than their fall back plan is to strength the back of the lineup. Wheat and Remi really need to step it up on the plate. If the O's can get high onbase players in the back of the lineup it may be just as effective as a slugger like Konerko or Dunn.

All in all, though I am glad the O's took the risk and are trying to acquire a slugger. Personally, I'd rather have Dunn than Konerko because of their age difference and the amount of years it would take to sign one of them.

Go O's!

Bargab

The O's have a lot of problems getting on base. They were last in the AL in walks and 11th in OB% last year. Yeah, we need some middle of the order power, but we also need our new hitting coach to help some of our younger hitters to be a little more patient and selective.

Dan -- It seems to me that losing Martinez to the Tigers should show the Orioles that if they are to be successful in signing Konerko, they'll need to make an offer not around what other clubs bid, but substantially more (whatever that would mean).

As I see it, they don't really have any choice if they're serious about obtaining his services. While the White Sox may not be as interested in resigning him as in years past, that's still an option. Texas supposedly is very interested, and a team I think he'd complement very nicely are the Red Sox, who apparently aren't going to re-sign Adrian Betre, and Kevin Youkilis has said he's willing to switch back from first to third.

Konerko, who's a solid clubhouse presence, seems like near perfect fit for Bosox. (And that's even before you factor in that he has a lot of family in the Boston area and has hit .379/.514/.621 at Fenway over the past three years.) Oddly, I haven't heard of any interest for him coming from Theo Epstein (or, for that matter, any other team).

Would you agree that overbidding--and maybe serious overbidding--is what it's going to take for the O's to sign him and not make merely a "competitive offer" as they did with Martinez, and if so, do you think the O's would consider that as an option or (more likely) look to a cheaper alternative such as, say, a Derrick Lee?

Remember, early in the year Peter Angleos said he was willing to spend significant money for a free agent if the O's showed signs of progress. While overall the season was disappointing, I think the Buck months could be enough to qualify as progress. The contract offered Martinez was hardly a lowball bid, so how much do you think they might offer Konerko?

P.S. Judging from the title and first paragraph of your column, it looks like the retro version won out over the more trendy one. My immediate thought was: Did Dan have an idea that got overruled, but which he liked so much he kept it as the opening? Out of curiosity (having worked in a newsroom before myself), do you come up with all your own headlines or does the Sun have a headline writer?

Dan,

He's the date to dance. We'll be sitting at home on prom night watching MTV (ok MASN)while everyone else is dancing and partying...

I think all of us sense that nothing major gets done this winter. We're going to have to earn the right to get FAs before we can simply buy them. We're headed in the right direction - decent pitching, good coaches, improvement under Buck. But until we start winning on our own for a period of time, I just don't see a marquee FA anytime soon. Or even an aging one like Konerko.

Ken -

You haven't heard anything about Boston being interested in Konerko because Boston is interested in the best first. They won't even consider Konerko unless they fail to sign Beltre, Crawford and Werth.

Once again, I'll take Konerko, but only if it's on a two year deal. With the possible exception of a vesting option for a third year, anything beyond two would be beyond stupid.

Which is why I can't believe that the same people who talk about not blocking the kids and getting stuck with ugly contracts and who hate Adam Dunn are so excited about Paulie. Guys, this is a 35-year-old coming off a career year that we're talking about. This is a guy who averaged a .260/.350/.475 line in the three seasons before said career year. Compared to Dunn, what's so exciting about that?

Would one of you guys please explain to me how signing Konerko for his 35, 36, 37, and 38-year-old seasons (because it's going to take a four year deal to get him here) is better than signing Dunn for his 31, 32, 33 and 34-year-old seasons?

Petey,

What's this "earn the right" BS? Last time I checked, any team with money was allowed to sign any free agent that would take said money. Was there an amendment to the CBA that I didn't hear about?

The Tigers signed Pudge Rodriguez a season after they lost 119 games. A year after that, they followed up a 90 loss season by signing Magglio Ordoñez. The next year, the played in the World Series. What "right" did they "earn" to sign those two guys after such miserable seasons? They needed a catcher, so they got one. Then they needed a power hitter, so they got one.

And guess what? This Orioles team needs (at least) a power hitter, a third baseman and an experienced starter who can step into the rotation. And guess what? Those types of guys are available. Right now. And this team has money to spend on them. Right now. So what's the point of waiting around for prospects to develop (or not develop) when you can improve your team right now?

The time is right. The time is now. It's time for this team to take the next step. Right now.

not brooks

Agree with what you say, but by signing Dunn we're really imbalanced toward left handed hitters. We're still going to need a right handed power hitter. Beltre would really help out there but can't see him signing on. Who else do you have in mind? I know you like Kouz, but I'd rather see someone who can take a few walks which he doesn't and is a real concern with this team.

The Orioles should be going all out for Carl Crawford (long term contract), Jayson Werth (long term contract) Adam Dunn (long term contract), Carlos Pena (short term contract) Johnny Damon (short term contract), and Vladimir Guerrero (short term contract). The Orioles should not be going hard after Konerko. He is already old and he was regressing from 2007- 2009, a long term deal would be a disaster. The Orioles should go after Dunn, and if they can't sign him, they should sign Pena to a short term deal. If the Orioles end up with Pena (or nobody), they should try to sign Prince Fielder and Adrien Gonzalez next year by offering them significantly more money than any other team, and finalizing a contract with the first player to agree to a deal (assuming Pena does not do very well in 2011). The Orioles should not sign Adrien Beltre because he has a history of performing very well in his walk years (2004, 2010), then playing at a mediocre level during his next contract (until his next walk year). I'm sure that Macphail (who has been a failure up to this point) knows that the Orioles must overpay in order to bring prime talent to Baltimore, and also knows that the Orioles could easily afford to significantly increase the payroll. Most likely, he will at best continue to offer 'fair' deals for players, knowing they won't come to the Orioles unless the offer is higher, and then he will say 'well, we tried,' when in reality he never really tried, and it will be a convenient excuse to continue to keep the payroll very low. The fact remains that although the Orioles played well for 1/3 of a season in 2010, it is still a very bad team and a winning season is very unlikely unless prime talent is brought in to patch up the tremendous weak points at LF, 3B, SS, and 1B. It would also be nice if Wieters finally came through, because he has been a huge disappointment.

Here is my idea of what I would like to see coming out of the offseason as far as a roster and lineup go.

B. Roberts (2B)
C. Patterson (LF)
N. Markakis (RF)
P. Konerko (1B)
M. Reynolds (3B)
A. Jones (CF)
L. Scott (DH)
M. Wieters (C)
C. Izturis (SS)

T. Wigginton (Util)
F. Pie (Util)

Rotation:

Greinke
Matusz
Guthrie
Bergesen
Arrieta

Bullpen:

Uehara (CL)
Berken
Ohman
J. Johnson
Hernandez

any other minor player improvements.

I think the young pitchers are going to start to get fine tuned this season and all the original lineup needs is some protection in the heart of the order. A couple of big bats like Konerko and Reynolds and maybe Z. Grienke in the Ace hole and the Orioles could very well be a formidable force next year.

dan -

I understand the whole right/left thing, but I don't see why a team with zero power should be prioritizing power from either side of the plate. Just get a guy who can hit 30 home runs, regardless of where he stands at the dish, and go from there.

From where I stand, the O's have two ways to go, and they have the money for each of them:

1. Overpay for Beltre, which allows you to skimp at first base a bit. LaRoche or maybe Derrek Lee for one year would be ideal in this scenario.

2. Sign Dunn to play first, then make up for his defensive inadequacies by acquiring Bartlett or Hardy and a defense first third baseman. Kouzmanoff would be ideal in this scenario. Bartlett, Hardy and Kouz hit lefties well, so that's a plus.

I'm thinking the A's will end up with Beltre, since they put him on the west coast and give him a decent chance to win, along with the most money. I can't see LaRoche leaving the NL, so I expect him to sign a one year deal with the Cubs, who need a first baseman, but don't have much payroll flexibility. I'm thinking Lee ends up in Tampa Bay on a one year deal. That said, once Paulie re-ups with the ChiSox, Dunn is the O's to lose.

People need to stop talking about Konerko and Dunn altogether. Not worth the money, not worth the time, not worth the excitement.

Pena and LaRoche are the only two viable, relatively young, and effective 1st basemen available without trade.

I would still favor Pena because I see improvement in his hitting and experience with the AL East.

Reynolds makes sense because I again see improvement in hitting with power. He is a prototypical big shortstop and there are not very many of those around anymore. Get him while hes still cheap, very cheap. Move wigginton over the 3rd and have bell platoon there as well.

Then you get a proven closer and some stronger relief to make your starting young guns comfortable. We still have a $85-90 million payroll and have a far more competitive team. In time we will either see some of our prospects come up or the team will continue to develop as a unit.

Also, sign a backup catcher that doesnt suck.

Re the Konerko discussion, I'm surprised no one's mentioned his substantial home/road statistical disparity throughout his career. He's .293/.372/.548 (115 OPS+) at home; on the road he's .268/.340/.451 (86 OPS+). Essentially all of that "home" production is at the Cell. Last year, he was .342/.433/.704 at U.S. Cellular and .285/.355/.476 on the road. 26 of his 39 home runs came at home. In his career, 218 of his 365 home runs have come in his home park.

Teams--not just the Orioles--other than the White Sox who are pursuing Konerko really ought to keep this substantial home/road disparity in mind when pondering contract offers.

The O's are merely a sounding board....a pawn in the process. Get that big offer and then shop it elsewhere.

"People need to stop talking about Konerko and Dunn altogether. Not worth the money, not worth the time, not worth the excitement.

Pena and LaRoche are the only two viable, relatively young, and effective 1st basemen available without trade."

Patrick -

Peña's offense has been in decline for three years. And he's two years older than Dunn.

LaRoche has a career OPS of .827 (compared to Dunn's .902) and he's the same age as Dunn.

So, tell me, how those two are "viable, relatively young, and effective" compared to Dunn.

I'm waiting...

Also, Mark Reynolds hasn't played an inning of shortstop in 563 games. The last time he played there was in the minors in 2006. And he was moved to third base because he wasn't good enough to handle short.

And speaking for Reynolds, how in the world can you be for him but against Dunn? Reynolds isn't even close to Dunn in terms of offense and he's not much of a defender at third base.

In short, what the hell are you talking about?

I don't know why we couldn't be players in the Werth sweepstakes. He wouldn't be a bad guy to overpay for to get the job done because of his age and athleticism. Then you get Dunn done and platoon he and Luke at 1st and DH and grab Cantu for 3B short term. I think that would be a significant splash and create a formidable lineup.
1-Roberts
2-Jones
3-Werth
4-Dunn
5-Markakis
6-Scott
7-Weiters
8-Cantu
9-Izturis

Pie/Reimold/Wiggy etc...

Since defense is a hot topic for the free agent candidates, I thought I'd share the rankings for highest fielding percentage for active first basemen (courtesy of Baseball-Reference):

#8 Paul Konerko
#9 Adam LaRoche
#10 Lance Berkman
#13 Derrek Lee
#14 Carlos Pena

Yes, that's right its the Bald Eagles. We decided to build a nest at Ed Smith Stadium. We heard the Beaches of Sarasota are the best! Also, we heard watching an O's game during spring training is something to be cherished for a lifetime.

I send this message give a hardy hello to everyone in Oriole Land as well introduce ourselves. We hope the Orioles don't lay an egg in 2011. So in that spirit, we the Bald Eagles recommend the Orioles doing a trade with some team out there to get a viable 1st baseman and to lay off all free agents out there except of course Jayson Werth. We believe this is the most sound course of action!


Warmest Regards,
The Bald Eagles

http://www.wusf.usf.edu/news/2010/12/02/bald_eagles_build_nest_in_baltimore_orioles_stadium

to notbrooks,

Well for starters if you take a look at espns mlb section you will see that sources are pointing to the White Sox already nabbing Dunn.

My point isn't that I dont like Dunn, my point is that Dunn aint making it to Baltimore, period, so stop talking about him. Same for Konerko.

My bad on Reynolds thought he was still at SS. Either way Id take him over Izturis, even if he wasnt considered better defensively.

Also, Dunn is a liability at first, which is why the sox are making him DH, making it more probable that Konerko stays with the sox.

Well Adam Dunn is going to sign with the White Sox so I hear... Looks like Konerko is free to go.

By the way, if Dunn and Konerko, both aging and losing range, are barely good enough for other teams to play first, then why would we want them? Both are making their way to a DH role fast.

If we signed them it would be another misguided effort at salvaging a team that isnt built to stick big lumbering one dimensional players on.

Penas Numbers by the way:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=4594

aside from his 2007 season his numbers look an aweful lot alike.

What is the anger and snide comments about pursuing "older" FAs? Have you looked at the roster, only three guys over 30. They should stop the youth movement, but they probably could use some seasoning in spots too.

The free agents are now signing left and right and the O's McFail is no where in sight. All that will be left as scraps for the O's will be 3rd and 4th tier players. Say hello to last place in AL East for 2011.

OK, Dunn is gone. Go back to sleep McFail. You and the O's are the perfect fit........total losers. The White Sox want Konerko too and guess what? They'll get him for less than the O's offer. O's STRIKE OUT again!!!!!

THANKS MR ANGELOS YOU BLEW IT AGAIN!!! ADAM DUNN WOULD HAVE BEEN A PERFECT FIT BUT AGAIN YOU WILL NOT PART WITH YOUR MONEY!! FACE IT O'S FANS WE AREN'T SIGNING ANYBODY UNTIL WE THROW ANGELOS OUT OF BALTIMORE!!! I HAVE BEEN AN O'S FAN SINCE 1966 AND I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SAY THIS BUT I REFUSE TO GO TO CAMDEN YARDS AGAIN TIL HE GOES. HE WONT SPEND MONEY AND I WONT EITHER !!!!!!! THANKS POOR PETE !!

It will happen only if MacPhail and Angelos make it happen. They simply need to overpay. By a lot. There are a finite number of moves they can make now to have a shot a filling the park next August.

Kerry --Who cares where Konerko posts his best stats so long as he posts them. If he's killer at home and just so-so on the road, that's still 81 games where he often will carry a team on his back, isn't it? And it's not like he actually stinks on the road.

AM and PA haven't learned from the last time we courted Konerko. I realize that AM wasn't here then but that's too bad. He's here now he'll have to take the heat. When it's all said and done I'm sure the highest offer will be no more than 15 mil a year. What a shame. It's going to take $17 mil a year for five years. I realize this is overpaying but you have to start somewhere. I also realize that PA got knocked off the horse with a guy named Albert Belle but it's time to get back on that horse and hold on. It could be a great ride.

Not Brooks,

I disagree completely with you. You really think a FA wants to come here? To play on a team with such a lousy track record in the front office, organization, and wins under Angelos? If your solution is to buy a FA, you'd pay $70M to Dunn? If the O's had offered say $70M, I'll bet Dunn would rather play on a White Sox team who's offering a decent contract but is a viable contender. That's what a guy in his prime wants - a place to win pennants.

Start dealing with reality. "any team with money was allowed to sign any free agent that would take said money" - how simplistic can you be? Players won't come here just because Andy opens up the wallet. Not until they start winning and challenging in the AL East, putting people in the seats, rewarding the current performing players, and THEN, maybe we have something more than the cash Angelos is already sitting on.

Do you think any guy we sign for more than anyone else will offer is going to play hard and do what it takes to win?

You seem to think that the problem is spending the cash, and that if we pay, top players will come. I just disagree entirely with that.

STOP LYING to the fans of the Teams. AM and Angelos are a disgrace. Sign someone and stop sitting on your hands.
Buy what bats??????

What would McPhail do if Konerko said, I'll sign, but only if you can get Adrian Beltre on 3B. McPhail would offer Beltre, 4 years/40 million, and we all would laugh

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.


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