The Orioles, who already made the big play of the spring by signing starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to a $50-million deal, could pull off a second surprise.

Baltimore, according to sources, has maintained dialogue with top free-agent starter Ervin Santana, who could potentially bolster the Orioles' rotation further.

A Jimenez-Santana double-play would be quite a coup for the Orioles, who have one of the best lineups in baseball but needed to enhance their rotation in the strong A.L. East.

The Orioles quite obviously see a nice two-year window to win, with top slugger Chris Davis and superb catcher Matt Wieters, due to become free agents after 2015, and seemingly little chance to extend those players in that window.

Should the Orioles pull off a Santana signing, they could possibly move Bud Norris into the closer role, though it isn't clear what they'd do. Tommy Hunter appears to be the leading option for that spot among pitchers in camp.

Santana had an exceptional season in 2013 but like several free agents has found the market slow due to the prospect of signing teams having to surrender a first-round pick. Santana 9-10 With a 3.24 ERA last season, has started more than all but nine pitchers since entering the league in 2005 and is known for durability and pitching long into games.