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Hot Stove Update: Holliday to Cards, Big Unit out to pasture, O's interested in LaRoche?

It appears the Orioles weren't so much "waiting in the weeds" as they were taking simply taking a nap. Matt Holliday returns to the Cardinals for a 7 year, $120M contract with a full no-trade clause. It's not a disappointment to me because I never actually thought he'd sign with the Orioles. I may have let my mind wander to the possibility, but that's about it. I'm actually glad he ended up in St. Louis. By all accounts St. Louis is a great city in which to play, he'll be side-by-side in the lineup with Albert Pujols, and the Cards are perennial contenders. Even if the Orioles were serious about him, how could they compete with that? 

Other news that's not shocking in and of itself but which still gave me a start when I read the headline is the announced retirement of Randy Johnson. It's not shocking in that Johnson is 46 years and has dealt with injuries the past few years, but every time one of the guys I grew up watching retires I feel a little sad. Johnson is possibly the last 300 game winner we'll see for generations, and as a pitcher he really did it all. 5 Cy Young awards, 2 no-hitters, one World Series Championship. He's one of the nastiest pitchers I've ever seen and even though I unfortunately didn't keep close track of him when he was in the NL, I'll always remember him as a member of those early 1990s Seattle Mariners teams that I loved so much. It's rare that I really root for a team other than the Orioles, but that Mariners team with Johnson, Ken Griffey, Jr., Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Harold Reynolds, and the rest were really something. So best of luck to Randy Johnson, owner of that legendary mullet. Baseball will never see a pitcher quite like him again. 

Finally, according to Buster Olney, the Orioles appear to be in the hunt for 1B Adam LaRoche. In case you sometimes get your Andy and Adam LaRoches confused, rest assured that Adam is the more successful of the two. He will be 30 years old in 2010 but has put up much better career numbers than any of the other current Orioles 1B, albeit all in the NL other than his 6 game stint with the Red Sox in 2009. I could be ok with LaRoche manning 1B for the O's in 2010.