Orioles had $48 million for V-Mart…what happened to it?

December 16, 2010 | Drew Forrester

So here we are, mid-December and all, and baseball tickets for 2011 are now on sale.

“Come see Buck’s Birds”.

Sure, that sounds like a good idea.

Except there’s one issue: Who, exactly, are we coming to see?

We know Mark Reynolds will be at third base and JJ Hardy will be at shortstop. Brian Roberts will man second base. Maybe this year he’ll play a game that matters for the first time in his career.

One can only hope.

But there’s still a spot unclaimed in the Orioles infield.

To borrow the opening phrase of a famous comedy routine — and believe me, there’s NO pun intended there — we have to ask this question: “Who’s on first?”

Literally.

When are the Orioles going to sign a first baseman? Or acquire one, perhaps?

These and other questions are appropriate for the team’s GM, Andy MacPhail, but Andy doesn’t answer questions from the “mainstream” media, aka “anyone who doesn’t write the club a check in some way, shape or form.”

CBS Radio can ask him a question. They pay the Orioles.
MASN can ask him a question. They’re owned by the Orioles.
The Sun can ask him a question. They have an almost-nepotistic marketing partnership with the Orioles.

And occasionally when they have a ticket plan to peddle, a t-shirt give-away to promote or some other announcement to make that can generate the club revenue, they’ll allow someone from the Associated Press to ask a question.

Other than that, no questions.

And that stinks, because there are definitely questions that Andy should be answering right now as first base stands unoccupied at Camden Yards.

Here’s one: “Andy, you supposedly offered Victor Martinez $48 million for 4 years. That’s a shame you didn’t get him, he could have helped the team. So…where is that $48 million now? You had it at your disposal two weeks ago. I assume it’s still available, right? So…why haven’t you used it yet to “buy a bat” as you’ve said you intended on doing?”

I realize the Orioles used a few million on Koji and Hardy is more expensive than Izturis and Reynolds is more expensive than Josh Bell.

But is that it?

Is our off-season spending spree already complete?

I’m trying to understand this: If the Orioles had $48 million for Victor Martinez and he didn’t take it, shouldn’t they have plenty of money to give Derrek Lee or Adam LaRoche?  Wouldn’t one of those two take $10 million or $15 million for a year or two?  Or are they still trying to make their best deal somewhere else?

I just can’t get my head around it:  Three weeks ago the Orioles had $48 million for Victor Martinez.  And $40 million for Adam Dunn (fancy offer there, by the way…offer the guy the same money he made in DC).  Those two didn’t want it.  So is that money no longer available?

Is there a chance – and I’m just throwing this out, don’t get offended – that the offers for Martinez or Dunn were just throw-aways to placate the fan base? That’s certainly plausible in the Adam Dunn case, where the Orioles (continued)

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