December 2005 - Baltimore Orioles Wiretap
A New Year's Four-Way Deal?
The Mets have been engaged in ongoing talks with the Devil Rays about reliever Danys Baez, but, according to multiple baseball sources, those discussions could bloom into a blockbuster four-team trade scenario in which Manny Ramirez winds up at Shea and similarly disgruntled slugger Miguel Tejada lands in Boston. According to sources, both the Red Sox and Orioles have resigned themselves to accommodating the trade requests of Ramirez and Tejada, who want off of their respective teams. But since the Orioles have signed Jeromy Burnitz to complete their outfield, they may not have a match with the Red Sox in a straight-up Tejada-for-Ramirez deal, so several baseball executives said they'd have to get other teams involved. That's where the Mets and Devil Rays come in. The basics of the four-team deal that had the baseball executives buzzing yesterday and would appear to satisfy the needs of all four clubs would have Tejada and Tampa Bay's Joey Gathright going to the Red Sox to fill Boston's holes at shortstop and center field. Ramirez and Baez would go to the Mets, giving them one of the game's best sluggers and a setup man. The Orioles would satisfy their need at shortstop by getting Julio Lugo from Tampa Bay and add pitching by getting Matt Clement from Boston and possibly Kris Benson from the Mets. The Devil Rays, who have always been difficult to deal with, especially in complicated transactions, are seeking top prospects and young pitching and would be satisfied in that regard by getting third baseman Andy Marte from Boston and Jae Seo and Aaron Heilman from the Mets. In addition, the Mets would send Kaz Matsui to Tampa to give the D-Rays a stopgap shortstop replacement until prospect B.J. Upton is ready. An executive with one of the teams called the four-team scenario far-fetched, but an official with another of the teams said he expected to broach such talks. The Mets and GM Omar Minaya long have coveted Ramirez, a nine-time All-Star. Ramirez has said he wants to leave Boston and the Mets are one of the few clubs in baseball that could take on all or part of his monster salary - Ramirez is due $57 million over the next three seasons. Money, of course, could complicate the deal. In addition to Ramirez's hefty price tag, Tejada is owed $48 million and part of a $12 million signing bonus for the next four years. Independently, the Mets have been talking for weeks with the Devil Rays about Baez, who was 5-4 with a 2.86 ERA and 41 saves as a closer last season. Seo and Heilman have been mentioned as possible matches in a potential one-for-one deal, but two Mets sources said yesterday they would "absolutely" not part with Heilman for Baez. However, if talks expand and include bringing Ramirez to the Mets, Heilman might have to be sacrificed. If the Mets got Baez, he would set up for new closer Billy Wagner. But Baez doesn't seem to want to switch jobs. In an interview yesterday with the St. Petersburg Times, he said, "I don't know if I want to be a setup guy. I want to be a closer. "But if they trade me, I don't have a choice. If they want me to be a setup guy, that's what I'll do."
Tejada Now "More Upset" At O's
Disgruntled shortstop Miguel Tejada is "more upset'' with the Baltimore Orioles because they haven't gotten stronger in the offseason than with the team not fulfilling his trade request. "Now, I am more upset than when I requested the trade because it's been a month and they haven't done anything,'' Tejada told The Associated Press on Thursday. Tejada, who is entering the third year of a $72 million, six-year contract, said three weeks ago that he wanted a "change of scenery.'' On Thursday, the disgruntled All-Star said he was upset by the Orioles' failure to make trades that would strengthen the team. "I don't want to say anything bad that can hurt my teammates, but look at Toronto, they have strengthened themselves and we haven't done anything,'' said Tejada, who hit .305 last season with 26 homers and 98 RBI.
Byrnes Agrees To Deal With D-Backs
The Diamondbacks came closer to filling their center field vacancy as they closed in Wednesday on free agent Eric Byrnes. Byrnes, who agreed to what is believed to be a one-year deal worth about $2.2 million, will undergo a physical examination today in Phoenix. Byrnes, whom the Diamondbacks tried to acquire from Oakland last off-season, gives them a speedy, high-energy player who can man the center field position as prospect Chris Young continues to develop. advertisement The 29-year-old became a free agent last week when Baltimore did not offer him a contract, the end result of a poor second half of the 2005 season.
Orioles Reach Deal With Burnitz, Won't Trade Tejada
Free agent outfielder Jeromy Burnitz and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed on a two-year contract, pending the results of a physical. A team source, speaking on the condition of anonymity since the deal has not been finalized, said Wednesday night that the deal will pay the former Chicago Cubs right fielder between $10 million and $12 million. The 36-year-old Burnitz hit .258 with 24 homers and 87 RBIs with the Cubs last season. The 13-year veteran would fill the hole in left field left by the departure of Eric Byrnes, who was not offered a contract for 2006. In other news, the Orioles are on the brink of abandoning their effort to trade disgruntled shortstop Miguel Tejada, who has expressed a desire to leave Baltimore because the team has not done enough to improve itself during the offseason. "There is absolutely no deal we find acceptable to trade this very special player to another team," an Orioles official said. Tejada is entering the third year of a $72 million, six-year contract. He hit .304 with 26 homers and 98 RBIs in 2004, but that wasn't good enough to prevent the Orioles from logging their eighth consecutive losing season.
Orioles Keep Discussing Tejada Trades
The Orioles continue to discuss possible trades for disgruntled shortstop Miguel Tejada and no less than seven teams are interested. The Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels are among teams that would love to have the talented Tejada. But are they willing to pay Baltimore?s price? According to team and media sources, the most serious discussions are with the Cubs, who are dangling a package that includes standout right-handed pitcher Mark Prior. According to two industry sources, there were preliminary discussions between the Orioles, Cubs and Oakland Athletics on a three-way deal that included Tejada, Orioles lefthander Erik Bedard, Prior and Oakland ace Barry Zito heading to new homes. The Birds would get Zito and Prior, the Cubs would get Tejada and the A?s would add Bedard. But that type of complex trade takes time and is at best a longshot.
Cubs And Orioles Keep Talking Trade
The Orioles remain in trade talks with several teams about Miguel Tejada, but as of now, no team has matched the club's asking price for the disgruntled All-Star shortstop. According to team and industry sources, the most serious discussions the Orioles are having about Tejada appear to be with the Chicago Cubs, who are dangling a package that includes standout right-handed pitcher Mark Prior. According to industry sources, however, the Cubs want Orioles left-hander Erik Bedard included in the deal and don't want to trade top outfield prospect Felix Pie, whom the Orioles covet. The Orioles also are slightly wary of Prior's recent history of elbow troubles and would prefer obtaining Carlos Zambrano, but the Cubs reportedly have no interest in trading him. As of now, according to a source with knowledge of the trade talks, the two teams are not yet close to an agreement despite several proposals being sent back and forth. Cubs second baseman Todd Walker, center fielder Corey Patterson and 25-year-old left-handed pitching prospect Rich Hill have also been mentioned in a deal, but the Orioles aren't enthralled with Walker or Patterson. Walker would essentially be a bench player with All-Star Brian Roberts entrenched at second base, and Patterson struggled mightily last season and would not seem to constitute that big of an upgrade over Luis Matos, whose status as the Orioles' everyday center fielder is in jeopardy.
Jays, Red Sox And O's Pushing For Glaus
The Diamondbacks, moving aggressively to trade third baseman Troy Glaus, are in serious discussions with the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles and an unidentified National League club, FOXSports.com has learned. The Red Sox and Blue Jays are the front-runners for Glaus, according to an official from one of the interested clubs. The Sox, Jays and Orioles likely would move Glaus to first base, a position he has not played in his eight-year major-league career. Glaus, 29, has limited no-trade protection in the four-year, $45 million contract he signed with the Diamondbacks last off-season. He would need to approve a deal to the Blue Jays, according to a source with knowledge of his contract. It is not known whether the other suitors are on his no-trade list. The Diamondbacks, trying to add pitching, believe they can unload Glaus without paying any of the $32.75 million that he is owed in the final three years of his contract, sources say. The Jays offered second baseman Orlando Hudson for Glaus, and probably would be willing to part with right-hander Miguel Batista as well if they obtained another player in the deal.
Prior For Tejada Legit?
The Cubs, aggressively pursuing a blockbuster trade for Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, are willing to part with a top starting pitcher, most likely right-hander Mark Prior, sources tell FOXsports.com. The talks are stalled, a source says, over the Cubs' insistence that the Orioles give up left-hander Erik Bedard along with Tejada if they want Prior ? and the Cubs' refusal to include top outfield prospect Felix Pie or a top pitching prospect in return. The Cubs and Orioles also have engaged in three-way discussions with the Red Sox in which Tejada would go to the Cubs and Ramirez to the Orioles, according to another source. The package the Sox would receive is unclear, but conceivably could include Prior, shortstop Ronny Cedeno and center fielder Corey Patterson. Whatever the details, a three-way deal would appear to be a longshot, and no other deal appears close. The Red Sox would need to give the Orioles pitching along with Ramirez if they wanted Tejada in a straight, two-team trade. The Angels' offers for Tejada have been insufficient, sources say. The Orioles are concerned that they would be losing too much offense if Prior was their principal acquisition in a Tejada deal. The Red Sox share the same reservation about trading Ramirez for anything other than a hitter of Tejada's caliber. The Orioles and Cubs have been talking for at least a week. While the teams completed a trade involving outfielder Sammy Sosa last off-season, that deal was essentially a salary dump by the Cubs. A Tejada deal would be more difficult to accomplish.
Roberts Recovering From Dislocated Elbow
Brian Roberts' recovery from a dislocated left elbow is coming along well and the Baltimore Orioles' All-Star second baseman hopes to be on the field during spring training. ``I probably won't be going 100 percent by the first day of spring training,'' Roberts said. ``But if I'm ready to be playing by the middle of spring training, I think that's plenty of time.'' Roberts was injured when he and Bubba Crosby of the New York Yankees ran into each other while the Baltimore second baseman was covering first on a bunt in the second inning on Sept. 20. The injury looked gruesome, required surgery and ended Roberts' season. He finished with a .314 average, 18 homers and 73 RBIs as the Orioles' leadoff hitter. Roberts made the All-Star team for the first time. ``I'm trying to make progress every day,'' Roberts said. ``It's frustrating. You just try and stay positive. You can never predict two months from now. We're certainly positive that we're on schedule.''
Yankees Anticipate Henry Saving The Day On Damon
Red Sox owner John Henry, said to be apoplectic about the failed talks to bring back popular Theo Epstein as general manager, blames himself for underestimating Epstein's distaste for working with club president Larry Lucchino and allowing the generally reviled Lucchino to handle negotiations until it was too late. So it's no surprise that Henry recently injected himself into the Johnny Damon negotiations. Henry, fairly characterized by the GM of a competing team as "a prince of a man," is worried that Damon might be disenchanted (Damon recently told Newsday he's upset about the losses of Bill Mueller, Kevin Millar and members of the team's support staff). Meanwhile, the Yankees, who haven't furthered Damon negotiations in recent days, privately worry that Henry will save the day and lure Damon back home.
O's Enter Chase For Johnny Of Nazareth
The Orioles have joined the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers in the hunt for the center fielder. While the Orioles haven't offered Damon a six-year deal, which was rumored yesterday, they are in play.
Mets Explore Deals For Tejada And Baez
The Mets have been linked to disgruntled Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada in numerous reports ? a development that one team official refused to comment on last night.
Tejada Never Asked For Trade, Just Wants To Win
"I never said I wanted to be traded; I said I want to see a better team," said Tejada, who spoke via phone from the Dominican Republic.
Orioles Want Tejada To Drop Trade Request
The Orioles have received several inquiries about shortstop Miguel Tejada, but at this point, the club's focus is on persuading the All-Star to back off his trade demand.
Boston Offers Ramirez For Tejada
One day after the Red Sox traded a former All-Star shortstop, Edgar Renteria, the club offered Manny Ram?rez to the Baltimore Orioles for Miguel Tejada.
Miggy Requests Trade
Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada said Thursday he's unhappy with the team's direction and wants to be traded.