The Orioles had reportedly focused on LaRoche and offered him a three-year deal. That hasn't been accepted yet, and so the team has started talking again with Lee's agent, Casey lee, this week.
LaRoche, 31, hit .261/.320/.468 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI for the Diamondbacks last season, while earning $4.5 million. He's likely looking for a raise and the security of a multi-year deal, coming off his "show-me" one-year deal with the Diamondbacks.
Lee, 36, hit .260/.347/.428 with 19 home runs and 80 RBI with the Cubs and Braves last season. He was in the final year of a five-year deal with Chicago and made $13.25 million last season, a salary he's unlikely to get for 2011.
Honestly, with reports of the Orioles offering LaRoche three-years and $21 million, this sounds like a smokescreen to try to hurry LaRoche's decision to sign the deal.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans