about as major league ready as Nuke LaLoosh was when he first came up with the Durham Bulls, the O’s are in “must find” territory with regard to a 3rd baseman. And unless they do the unthinkable and actually woo Beltre here with real money, it’s a safe bet they’ll be bargain shopping at 3rd base this winter.
Don’t be shocked if Kouzmanoff is in Baltimore in a few weeks eating a crabcake at The Warehouse and answering questions from whatever media members can break away from Ravens camp long enough to talk with him.
Carlos Pena is also intriguing for the Orioles because he hits the free agent market in a fairly low position of bargaining strength. I hate to bring up the “M word” again, but it’s always the most important discussion point when you’re talking Orioles and player signings. Pena made $10 million last year in Tampa Bay, but hit an embarrassing .197 and had his worst offensive season in four years. He’s a wizard with the glove, but the bat is where you make your money when free agency rolls around — and he picked the worst time to have his worst year. If I were advising Pena, I might tell him to take someone’s best one-year offer and try to recapture his pre-2010 magic and give free agency a try again in 2011. And that scenario would obviously be attractive to the Orioles — a one-year investment of $8 million or so…they’d sign off on that in a heartbeat, I suppose. As it stands now, I assume Pena will get a multi-year deal somewhere – maybe even in Tampa again – and the Orioles could be a suitor for him if the rest of the high-dollar free agent first baseman sign elsewhere.
The most attractive candidate is also the least attractive candidate. Adam Dunn is the most prolific power bat available this winter but his constant reminders