Every day, there's a new way to describe the Orioles as doing something when they are in actuality doing nothing. Today's bringer of no news is Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, who brings a different outlook to the standard "interested" fare:
Sources: #Orioles remain in contact with agents for N. Cruz, Burnett, Rodney. Also could play on Santana or Jimenez if they fail on Burnett.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 31, 2014
What is "remain in contact"? Does that mean they are having actual, productive conversations with the agents for all of those players? Does it mean Dan Duquette is leaving ten messages a day, pleading to be noticed, and the phone calls are never returned?
The answer is probably somewhere between those two things, if only because I don't think that Duquette would keep calling someone who obviously isn't interested in the team at all. He has better things to do with his time, like sign another five minor league free agents.
The contingent of people whose paychecks come from a business entity that is 85% owned by the Orioles continue to be mystified by the persistent Nelson Cruz rumors:
Still would surprise me to see Nelson Cruz end up an Oriole but the national rumors of O's having interest just never stop it seems.— Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) January 31, 2014
Another reading of "in contact" is that it's Cruz's agent who is desperately calling the Orioles. Maybe he's so desperate he's calling every number he can reach in the directory, including 888-848-BIRD, giving his spiel to the ticket agent, who probably thinks a three-year deal means something else entirely and he's going to have to check with his supervisor to see if they offer three years at a time.
C'mon, Dan, you know you want to give up your first round draft pick and spend $10 million and more a year to sign a guy who just got suspended for 50 games in the most recent season! It's true that the Orioles don't currently have an established left fielder or DH, either of which Cruz could be. The Orioles don't seem to want him to be, and that's fine with me.
One other thing Rosenthal tweeted on Friday afternoon is that a source says the Orioles are still planning to have a payroll over $100 million, but it's unknown by how much. After all that we've seen from them so far this off-season, I'll believe it when I see it. They may even have the intent to go over $100 million but still be outbid on individual players. "Well, we gave it a good run, but the price went above what we were comfortable paying for that player."
That's a good way to avoid spending money and a bad way to go about winning baseball games.