NATIONAL HARBOR — The Orioles have made no secret of their desire to acquire a solid all-around corner outfielder, so their name came up often during the time that versatile former Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers star Ian Desmond was on the market.
That was never likely to happen.
Desmond reportedly has agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal with the Colorado Rockies, which is all you need to know about why the Orioles were never really a player for him.
Though it's not totally out of the question that the Orioles could spend some real money on a quality free agent if they aren't going to bring back Mark Trumbo or Matt Wieters, baseball operations chief Dan Duquette seems more interested in getting a top draft choice out of the qualifying offer system than giving one up.
Desmond would have required the Orioles to give up their highest choice in the June draft. That, and the the money, made Desmond a long shot from the beginning.
Of course, the Orioles have given up some high picks to sign several QO free agents late in the process, so if Desmond were still around in February and suddenly seeking a one-year deal to get past the current QO system (which will change under the new collective bargaining agreement), that would have been a different story.