Orioles catcher Matt Wieters may carry the tools of ignorance. But when it comes to this negotiating game, he is no dope.

No one can make a contractual stalemate sound nicer than him.

When Wieters says he "thinks both parties are on the same page," what he doesn't mention is that that means that while the parties understand where each other stands, they also both know that no long-term deal is in the offing.

The Orioles tried the past two years during spring training, but there appears no plan to try again this spring. The thinking seems to be: We know we aren't in the ballpark, so why bother? Or at least, why bother today?

Based on what you hear, that's probably sound thinking. It's not happening. Not now, anyway.

Wieters won't get into the specifics of past talks, but there's no evidence from either side that anyone believes a deal is about to happen. The gap between the sides is suggested to be immense. That explains why Wieters' name even came up this winter in trade rumors, though ultimately the Orioles understandably decided that while they have a difference of opinion on his value, he is practially irreplaceable.

The trade talk doesn't faze Wieters: "I love being on this club, and until someone gives me a call, I'm going to look forward to coming to this clubhouse."

Wieters also says, pleasantly, that "everybody's happy to be where they are," and it appears he means they've all come to grips with the idea nothing is about to happen in terms of a new Orioles contract, and that they are all dealing with it fine.

"I look at it like this," he said. "I have this year to look forward to, and I have today to look forward to."

In other words, he's stopped worrying about such mundane things as money.

That's probably the best way to look at it, though technically he has this year with the Orioles, and maybe next year, too. His attitude seems to be that he's going to enjoy it however long he's here. Maturing now at 27, he has a quiet confidence.