According to my MASNsports.com colleague Roch Kubatko, the Orioles continue to imply they are not interested in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes. Meanwhile, MLB Network spent all Wednesday morning "hypothetically" listing Seattle and Baltimore as possible Fielder destinations.
MLB Network had to get the idea of Fielder going to the Orioles from somewhere. I'm pretty sure they didn't pull it out of thin air. On the other hand, nobody is closer to the situation than Kubatko. He's directly asking O's executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette questions every day.
So is Baltimore in the mix? Possibly. Remember, Duquette's job is to put up some smoke and mirrors at times.
The beauty of the Winter Meetings is that everything is insinuation and speculation. Nothing should be perceived as truth until we see a player wearing their new team's jersey at a press conference.
It's amazing how one person, speaking hypothetically, can ignite a firestorm of assumption. MLB players' agents are masters at it.
In an effort to make more money, I'm going to have my agent start a rumor. I can't decide between saying I'm leaving baseball to replace David Letterman on The Late Show, or I'm considering submitting my resignation to MASN to become a nun. I hope my husband and kid don't blow my cover. I'll really have to sell the whole purity image if the nun thing is going to fly.
I know I might be in the minority, but I hope the Orioles' interest in Fielder is true. I don't see it as financially irresponsible. Duquette is actively seeking pitchers in the trade market. It's not as if he has to abandon a search for a free agent pitcher in order to pay for Fielder.
Let's "hypothetically" assume the Orioles are in the mix for Fielder. How aggressively they would pursue him, we have no idea. But if Seattle and Baltimore are the two cities it came down to, I can't imagine Fielder wanting to go to Seattle.
We have no idea what the Mariners would offer Fielder, either. They surely would have to be the highest bidder in order to overcome the unattractiveness of Safeco Field to a left-handed power hitter.
Or any power hitter for that matter. Just ask Adrian Beltre, who batted .334 and finished second in the AL MVP voting in his final year with the Dodgers. Then, he went to Seattle where Beltre carried a .266 batting average and hit just 79 RBIs a year over five seasons. I know he's right-handed, but if I were Fielder, I'd give Beltre a call. Oh. by the way, Beltre bounced back with the Red Sox and Rangers after leaving the confines of Safeco Field in 2010. Over the past two years, at the ages of 31 and 32, Beltre has hit .309 and averaged 104 RBIs a year.
It's well known Camden Yards has a short right field wall. Most hitters, left- or right-handed, love playing at The Yard, but for a left-handed power-hitter like Fielder, Camden Yards is a gold mine ripe with potential homers to be had.
Though Fielder has been one of the most durable players in the major leagues, only missing a handful of games over the past six seasons, I still believe his body type will catch up to him some day. If that's the case, he can't go wrong choosing an American League team where becoming a designated hitter will be an option in the final years of the contract.
This just in: The Orioles are in the American League.
If the rumors are true and there is any interest on the Orioles part, and if the O's are willing to be financially competitive, then Fielder shouldn't cross the O's off his list.