Orioles "all in" on A.J. Burnett, may actually have spoken to him this century

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are said to be "all in" on free agent starter A.J. Burnett. Maybe this time it will turn out they've actually spoken to the player they're reported to be interested in.

There has been no shortage of rumors linking the Orioles to certain players through this off-season. So far, they have all amounted to nothing. Most recently, there was a rumor that the Orioles were "making progress" with Fernando Rodney, only then it turned out they hadn't even spoken to him in weeks. Perhaps the person who reported that particular rumor should have put an extra 2% of effort into confirming it. In any case, here we go again:

What is "all in"? The Orioles definition of that may be less committed than some other team, in which case, as with every other remotely interesting free agent this off-season, the team will not get that player. If Burnett's previously stated preference to remain close to his Monkton home is accurate, then that combined with the Orioles supposedly being "all in" should make this fall into place.

There is the clear caveat that it is early in the process. Any number of teams could emerge, and if Burnett chooses to go farther away, then any number of those teams could out-bid the Orioles, as has happened so often. Burnett might be an attractive option for many teams because he will be had on a shorter contract than the two biggest remaining starters left on the market - Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez - and he won't cause a team to forfeit a draft pick.

The Orioles were reported to be "interested" in numerous players up until this point. That has amounted to nothing to date. At the winter meetings, they were proclaimed to be "one of the most aggressive teams"; they signed no one of note. Now, they are "all in" on A.J. Burnett, unless this time it turns out they haven't talked to him either. The track record suggests you probably shouldn't hold your breath.

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