A few random thoughts

Because so many of you must be curious, I'll reveal that my car passed the emissions inspection. The entire test lasted about two minutes. So worth the drive to Westminster.

I've got more items to cross off my to-do list before Friday morning's early flight to Sarasota, but I'll keep at least one eye on the blog.

There's still a good chance that the Orioles sign center fielder Adam Jones to a one-year deal before Friday's arbitration hearing. Executive vice president Dan Duquette seems more determined to reach an agreement with Jones than he did Jeremy Guthrie or Brad Bergesen. Guthrie was traded to the Rockies and Bergesen lost his case.

Once that issue is resolved, Duquette can figure out whether Jones is really willing to sign an extension and commit to the Orioles beyond 2013, his final season leading up to free agency. Money usually talks, but Jones also will need to be sold on the club's commitment to winning. Like so many others in the clubhouse, Jones has grown tired of the losing.

Imagine how Brian Roberts feels. I haven't researched it, but I'd love to know whether he's ever been part of a winning team as a professional, dating back to his days in the minor leagues.

Going back to yesterday's item on Jorge Soler, Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein estimates that the Cuban outfielder could spend at least three years in the minors. The Cubs reportedly are the frontrunners to sign Soler and are willing to pay him $27.5 million.

Unlike Yoenis Cespedes' contract with the Athletics, Soler wouldn't become a free agent after four years. Totally different deal.

It's not my money, as I always say, but Soler would immediately become one of the top position prospects in the Orioles' organization. Goldstein tweets that Soler would be No. 2 for the Cubs. He'd slot somewhere behind shortstop Manny Machado with the Orioles.

Fred Ferreira, the executive director of international recruiting, will meet with Soler this weekend if the 19-year-old outfielder hasn't been signed. Ferreira was booking his flight to the Dominican yesterday. It may be too late, but Ferreira will make the trip anyway and meet with other Cuban players.

Meanwhile, as I continue to search for interesting story lines for the 2012 season, I'm wondering whether the Orioles will give Nolan Reimold and Chris Davis at least 500 at-bats this season and determine their worth. Reimold has 741 at-bats in parts of three seasons. Davis has 1,005 in parts of four.

Neither player is blocked at the major league level. They can't continue to ride the shuttle to Triple-A. Options are running out. It's time to find out just how good they are, especially since Duquette didn't invest much on players who could challenge them.

Reimold's primary competition in left field will come from Endy Chavez and Jai Miller. Davis will be the first baseman unless Nick Johnson wrestles the job from him. Reimold and Davis also could rotate into the DH slot.

You could make the argument that the Orioles should take the same approach with second baseman Ryan Adams if Roberts returns to the disabled list in April. The Orioles invested a second-round draft pick on him back in 2006. He can swing the bat. Let him play every day and find out whether he's a keeper.

That is, unless the Orioles are concerned about hurting their playoff chances.

Probably not.

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