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.

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.