Here’s what I know for sure -- at least heading into Monday: Both sides still want a marriage and are hopeful it will happen, but both have a pretty clear idea of what it will take, and neither side has blinked yet.
Connolly believes that if Saunders signs a one-year contract this winter it will likely be with the Orioles. The veteran has made it clear that he’d prefer to rejoin Baltimore, and the O’s remain hopeful that a deal can be completed.
However, Saunders is seeking a multi-year contract, and the Orioles are only interested in one guaranteed year with an option for a second. Connolly gets the sense that Baltimore’s recent agreement with Jair Jurrjens didn’t shut the door on a potential Saunders deal. If the O’s sign Saunders, they would be able to start Jurrjens in Triple-A if there is not room in their starting rotation for him.
There are reports that Saunders has a two-year offer on the table. It’s not clear which team has extended this contract, but the Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners have also been tied to Saunders this offseason.