The Orioles are on their typical offseason losing streak.
The question is whether club officials will grow frustrated enough to make a bold (foolish?) move and entice (overpay?) a major free agent.
That's far from the M.O. of Andy MacPhail, the team’s president of baseball operations. But at what point does owner Peter Angelos become restless?
The Orioles went 34-23 after hiring Buck Showalter as manager, the second-best record in the American League during that span.
Presumably, they want to continue building upon that momentum.
Yet, free agent Victor Martinez turned down the Orioles’ reported four-year, $48 million offer to sign for $2 million more with the Tigers, and free agent Adam Dunn turned down their reported four-year, $40 million offer to sign for $16 million more with the White Sox.
The Orioles also have made a “significant” offer to free-agent first baseman Paul Konerko, according to Jim Bowden of FOX Sports and Sirius XM Radio.
But if Konerko leaves the White Sox - which is doubtful - he'll likely end up closer to his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., not on the east coast.
So, what will the Orioles do?
They need a shortstop, power at a corner-infield position (or two) and additional pitching depth. They’re exploring trades for Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett and Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds. Neither move would electrify their fan base, nor would a lesser free agent such as Carlos Pena.
Here's the difficult part: Whatever moves the Orioles make, it’s doubtful they'll keep pace with the Yankees, Red Sox and even the Blue Jays in the AL East.
And so the unfortunate cycle continues.
No self-respecting free agent wants to play for a non-contender in the game’s most competitive division unless he lacks a better option.