Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles

Bronson Arroyo signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend. This we know. Despite his early protests, it appears Arroyo did, in fact, field offers from multiple teams interested in his services.

One team that was in hot and heavy for Arroyo was the Baltimore Orioles, a team in dire need for some pitching assistance to go with their high-powered offense. They wanted Arroyo for his reliability, the number one selling feature in the Arroyo portfolio.

The Orioles, as they do, offered Arroyo very similar terms to those he reached with Arizona. The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests the total guaranteed dollars Baltimore offered were slightly lower but the option allowed for more total money over the three year term.

In the end, Arroyo considered a host of options and signed in Arizona. Pitching in the NL West tends to be a little more appetizing than running the AL East gauntlet for three years, it stands to reason. But there was another reason, according to Connolly, that Arroyo stayed away from Baltimore. The Orioles less than enticing business practices may have finally come home to roost.

But, according to one source, another serious factor was that the Orioles had failed two players’ physicals this offseason — outfielder Tyler Colvin‘s one-year deal and the high-profile decision to walk away from Balfour and his two-year, $15 million agreement due to concerns about his right shoulder.

The ripples from little things like walking away from two deals in one offseason fan out quickly. There is a price to pay, it seems. Arroyo’s reservations seem more self-interested than anything. No 37-year old wants a scarlet letter on his resume when your most marketable skill is dutifully taking the ball every five days come hell or high water. A suspect bill of health, even from the Orioles in-house quack, is just the sort of blow a player looking for his final contract cannot afford to take.

So blame can’t entirely fall on the Orioles but it sure looks like a factor. Baltimore might not care but little things like this are why it always pays to be a good “corporate citizen.” The Orioles now face a reality where overpaying is required in future to overcome the blow to their reputation.

Or maybe not. It is a fine line to walk, is all. Maybe it didn’t factor in at all in this instance and Connolly’s source is connecting dots all on his own. But, if we connect our own dots, it isn’t hard to imagine this very scenario.

Maybe, like in Miami, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Treat potential free agents poorly and they won’t want to sign, therefore you never get to spend big bucks in free agency? It’s a genius plan! Why throw money around willy nilly when you can’t get anyone to take the money you don’t really have any intention of parting with in the first place?! That Angelos, what a sly fox. Always one step ahead in the despot game. Admirable, really.