Chicago White Sox Konerko watches his first hit of five against Minnesota Twins during the first inning of their American League baseball game in Minneapolis

The Orioles made a “significant offer” to Paul Konerko

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Heavy caveats here.  For one thing, the report comes from Jim Bowden. A man who, in my year or so of following him on Twitter, has one of the lowest batting averages among guys who purport to break stories.

For another thing, the Orioles have been rumored to be in on a lot of top-flight free agents in recent years, but no one ever seems to bite.  Whether that’s because the offers aren’t really as serious as they sound or if it’s because top free agents see nothing at all enticing about signing with the O’s is an open question. I suspect a little bit of both us happening.

I think the Orioles will sign a first baseman, but I think it’s way more likely to be of the Derrick Lee or Adam LaRoche variety as opposed to someone like Konerko.  Which is fine, because after what they had last year, either of those two would represent a significant improvement.

Particularly Lee who is thought of as a great guy and a total pro. Yes, I realize that I often discount such things, but for a team like the Orioles that’s important. It’s a critical time for the franchise.  Showalter showed a lot last season, but their emerging players need some role models too. Lee wouldn’t be a bad one to have around.

Report: Teams have inquired with the Angels about Hector Santiago

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 20:  Hector Santiago #53 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 20, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.

Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.

Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.

We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.

Prince Fielder will undergo season-ending neck surgery this week

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 10: Prince Fielder #84 takes a swing during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won the game 7-5. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.

Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.

Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.