Another big bat eludes Orioles as Dunn chooses White Sox

December 02, 2010 | Drew Forrester

That’s strike 2.

First, Victor Martinez headed off to Detroit, eschewing an Orioles offer of 4-years/$48 million (supposedly).

And within the hour, word trickled out of Chicago that another player on the Orioles covet-list has decided to peddle his wares for a team other than the Orioles, as Adam Dunn agreed to a 4-year/$56 million dollar deal with the Chicago White Sox today.

I thought Andy MacPhail was going to “buy the bats”.  What the hell happened to that pledge?

Yes, the White Sox are in the American League.

Yes, Dunn was thought to be opposed to playing in the American League because he wasn’t interested in serving as a designated hitter.

I guess $56 million and having a team convince you that they really want you can change your mind in a hurry.

So that means the list of possible free-agent first base hopefuls now looks like this for the Orioles:

* Paul Konerko, who was offered a deal by the Orioles earlier this week but has reportedly told his people to inform the Birds that he’s not interested in coming to Baltimore.  Several sources have indicated Konerko is trying to make his way to Arizona with the Diamondbacks.

* Derrek Lee, who split time last year between the Cubs and Braves and will head into the 2011 season as a 34-year old coming off of thumb surgery.

* Carlos Pena, who hit a robust .197 last year in Tampa Bay and has slipped so far off the radar screen that he might be forced to take a one-year deal in Tampa or elsewhere just to have the chance to play his way back into a big money deal with a solid 2011 campaign.

* Lance Berkman, who came East at the trading deadline and plodded along for the Yankees after a sometimes-great-sometimes-forgettable career in Houston.

Those, now, are the only REAL first base candidates left.

I will stick with what I wrote last week…I think Derrek Lee will eventually wind up in Baltimore on a 3-year deal worth roughly $26 million or so.

One thing for sure:  The best power bat available this off-season – Adam Dunn – will not be coming to Baltimore.