Hopefully these lower level signings, are in part aimed at getting the foot in the door. The Orioles being a non participant for so many years, need to get the word out, in the talent rich areas that they are a player. Signing some, lower level targets, gets them some exposure to both players and street agents. IMO, in order to be really serious, they need to make a big splash. The Mesa's seem to be the only way to do that. If the war chest of money goes unspent, or does not bring in top end talent, all the trades made will be lacking, and the end result was a salary dump.
Yep, short term the only thing they can do is throw money around. They are so far behind the curve having never been involved previously, that they won't have any relationships that lead to being able to get kids signed when the money is similar between different offers.
A big splurge on someone like Mesa definitely feels like the best use of our allocation given the scenario we're facing. No excuses for being in that scenario, it's entirely because ownership is incompetent, but if they are now paying attention (which I highly doubt), it'll take some time to get established with scouts and talent on the smaller level. But everyone can read the top-30 or top-50 lists that BA put out and pick out a cuople kids from there to throw money at. Even easier when you've got a 21 y/o Cuban defector.