Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports through a source that the Orioles are still looking at Nelson Cruz, Fernando Rodney, and A.J. Burnett, who announced he would pitch for at least one more season two days ago. Rosenthal also suggests that if Baltimore does not land Burnett, who has been rumored to be their top priority, they will still be in play on free agent starters Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana. Of all the aforementioned free agents, only A.J. Burnett was not tendered a qualifying offer of $14.1 million and thus is not linked to draft pick compensation.
Speculation had been running around media that the Orioles were unwilling to spend big money this year, especially after backing out of a 2-year, $15 million contract with Grant Balfour because of physical issues. Their general quietness during this off season only continued to fuel that speculation. Balfour has since signed with division rival Tampa Bay. Rosenthal, however, suggests that money is not an issue for Dan Duquette and company.
According to one source, #Orioles’ payroll currently in $85M range. Plan to be over $100M. Question is by how much.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 31, 2014
Baltimore looks to be the early favorites to land the services of A.J. Burnett, who makes home thirty minutes from Orioles Park at Camden Yards.
Tags: Baltimore Orioles