July 2005 - Baltimore Orioles Wiretap
Rangers Want Ponson
The Rangers' interest in Sidney Ponson has increased dramatically, MLB.com's Gary Washburn reports, and a trade with the Orioles could be consummated by the July 31 deadline to make deals without going through the waiver process. The Rangers would like to add a starting pitcher, but club officials are not interested in paying the entire $10 million Ponson is owed next season, so the Orioles likely would have to be responsible for a chunk of his 2006 salary. The Rangers have two players they could move before the deadline: prospect outfielder Adrian Gonzalez and veteran right fielder Richard Hidalgo. Gonzalez would be more to the Orioles' liking, but that would mean they probably would have to pay more of Ponson's salary to get Gonzalez and he likely would not help the team in their playoff run this season.
Nevin Rejects Trade To Baltimore
San Diego Padres first baseman Phil Nevin on Monday rejected a trade that would have sent him to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Sidney Ponson. The proposed deal was contingent upon Nevin's approval. He has the right to block a trade to eight teams, including the Orioles. "Phil has elected to stay with the Padres and will be treated as a full member of the team," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said. "However, with the team competing for the National League West title, playing time is going to be determined by both his performance and the performances of other players that will ultimately give us the best chance to win." Nevin, 34, is batting .263 with nine home runs, 11 doubles and 47 RBI in 71 games. Nevin did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. "He just decided that obviously, family factors, personal factors, took precedent over baseball factors," said his agent, Barry Axelrod. "He wants to remain a part of San Diego and the ballclub. He's always wanted to be in San Diego. They gave him the right to keep that right, and that's what he decided to do." Towers' comment regarding Nevin's playing time means Nevin could be benched by manager Bruce Bochy, who might start playing Xavier Nady at first base. "That was duly taken under consideration. He understands that's a possibility, something that Boch may decide to do," Axelrod said. "Obviously he's willing to accept that and take his chances with that."
Nevin Leaning Towards Accepting Trade To Baltimore
Conversations with members of the Orioles organization might have persuaded San Diego Padres first baseman Phil Nevin to waive a no-trade clause and accept a trade to Baltimore that could be finalized Monday evening, according to one source. Nevin has until Tuesday at 6 p.m. to reject or accept being traded for Baltimore starter Sidney Ponson. "My feeling is that he's going to accept it," an executive from one of the teams involved said. "There's nothing that seems to be a problem. I'm guessing that he'll be in Baltimore and be in uniform on Tuesday at the latest." Nevin spoke with Orioles Manager Lee Mazzilli and infielder Chris Gomez, a former teammate with the Padres and the Detroit Tigers, on Sunday. "He said Lee was very convincing and painted a nice picture," Barry Axelrod, Nevin's agent, said. "They told him he'd play every day at first base or at DH and bat in the middle of the lineup. . . . "I was frankly surprised that Phil hadn't said no immediately. When they tried to trade him to Cincinnati a few years ago, he rejected it immediately."
Nevin Has Until Tuesday To Veto Trade
Padres slugger Phil Nevin has until Tuesday night to decide whether to accept a proposed trade to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Sidney Ponson. Nevin flew home from Philadelphia with the NL West-leading Padres after they lost their seventh straight game, and planned to spend Monday's off day discussing the deal with his family. Nevin has the right to block a trade to eight teams, including the Orioles. Nevin didn't play in Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Phillies as the Padres fell to 0-6 on an East Coast road trip and to just one game over .500. "I have a certain amount of time to make a decision and I'm going to use that time," Nevin said afterward. "I want to talk about it with my family and kids. It's a tough thing to talk to them about over the phone." In December 2002, Nevin blocked a deal that would have sent him to the Reds for Ken Griffey Jr. "I personally am surprised that he didn't reject it as quickly as he rejected the Cincinnati deal, that he's actually not said 'No,'" said Nevin's agent, Barry Axelrod. Tuesday's deadline will be an hour before the first pitch of the Padres' next game, against the St. Louis Cardinals at Petco Park. "He's very emotional right now," Axelrod said. "It's very hard on him. He sat through the game and was then going to fly home on the team plane feeling like he's not a part of it anymore. Basically, he's looking forward to having a day away from it and spending it with his family. He's faced with explaining this to his 8-year-old son, who's a huge fan and loves being at the ballpark. It's tough duty."
Padres Trade Nevin To Baltimore For Ponson
The Baltimore Orioles on Saturday agreed to trade right-handed pitcher Sidney Ponson to San Diego for first baseman Phil Nevin. Nevin has a limited no-trade clause and had yet to approve the deal, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reports, and according to Nevin's clause, he can veto a trade to the Orioles. Olney adds that it could be a few days before Nevin decides. With Ponson acquired by the Padres, the Orioles' deal to acquire Florida Marlins right-hander A.J. Burnett has been shelved. A three-way deal with the Orioles and Texas Rangers, which would have sent Burnett to Baltimore, was "killed" by the Orioles this weekend, a baseball man familiar with the deal told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. So the Marlins are believed to have broken off talks with Baltimore, at least for now, and are back to focusing on offers by the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. Florida, Baltimore and Texas had structured a complicated three-way trade that, theoretically, would have allowed the Orioles to assume most of the $21 million left on Mike Lowell's contract by jettisoning Ponson. Ponson has about $13 million remaining on his contract, which runs through 2006. But Baltimore and Florida would have assumed a large chunk of that, then traded Ponson to the Rangers, who would have picked up the rest. Texas also would have saved another $2 million by dealing Richard Hidalgo to Florida -- meaning the Rangers would have been getting Ponson for only about $3 million.
Orioles Seek Burnett's Medical Records
An industry source said that the Orioles have requested the medical records of A.J. Burnett and Mike Lowell, two of the players involved in the proposed trade with the Florida Marlins. The Marlins also have been in discussions in the Red Sox, while the Orioles are in close contact with the Giants about Jason Schmidt.
Lowell's Inclusion Drags Burnett Trade Talks
The Orioles remain in talks with the Florida Marlins on a potential trade for right-handed pitcher A.J. Burnett, but the deal could be in jeopardy because of the Orioles' unwillingness to absorb most of the contract of third baseman Mike Lowell, according to industry sources. One industry source even maintained that the six-player deal, which would send Orioles pitching prospect Hayden Penn, outfielder Larry Bigbie and reliever Jorge Julio to the Marlins for Burnett, Lowell and a minor league outfielder, may have reached a breaking point, but that was disputed by a high-ranking Orioles official, who said the teams are "still in negotiations." Lowell, 31, who entered last night with a .232 average, four home runs and 37 RBIs, is owed $18 million for the next two seasons plus about $3 million for the rest of this one. The trade's fate, according to sources, depends on how much money the Marlins are willing to pick up. A source said the Orioles asked them to pick up about half, but Florida balked at the request. The Marlins apparently would take struggling reliever Steve Kline, who has a two-year, $5.6 million deal, off the Orioles' hands, but that likely won't be enough to push the deal through. According to a source, the two teams also are discussing an alternative deal, which would send Julio, Kline and Penn to the Marlins for Burnett and left-handed Triple-A reliever Matt Perisho.
Pirates In On A Three-Way Trade?
Despite indications from several media outlets that the Orioles' pursuit of Florida pitcher A.J. Burnett is a done deal, one source familiar with the negotiations said yesterday that the team won't obtain Burnett unless the Marlins remove struggling third baseman Mike Lowell from the pending trade. Instead, the Orioles are now closing in on a three-way trade with the Pirates and Marlins that could yield them Burnett and Pittsburgh outfielder-first baseman Daryle Ward. In exchange, the Orioles would offer a package that likely would include the same names as before: outfielder Larry Bigbie, reliever Jorge Julio and pitching prospect Hayden Penn. Two of those, and perhaps all three, would be sent to Florida, which would also get pitcher Mark Redman. The Pirates would get Lowell, cash and prospects. It's unclear who will pay the bulk of Lowell's salary. The three-way negotiations with the Pirates and Marlins are still in the discussion stage, the source said. It could be done today or take a week. The Pirates entered the talks, a source said, when the Orioles attempted to make the Marlins take starter Sidney Ponson and the $10 million remaining on his contract after this season. As much as the Orioles would like to add Burnett, 28, to the top of their rotation, the club is hesitant to pick up Lowell's $18 million contract over the next two years, several sources said on condition of anonymity. If the Marlins agreed to absorb a "substantial amount" of Lowell's contract, then the Orioles might reconsider the original deal if the talks with Pittsburgh don't progress, one source said. The Orioles also would not be opposed to making a trade just for Burnett, even if they cannot sign the pending free agent to an extension during a 72-hour negotiation period.
Has Arroyo Played His Final Gig In Boston?
The Florida Marlins appear ready to trade pitcher A.J. Burnett, and possibly third baseman Mike Lowell, with the Orioles and Red Sox making serious bids, according to sources. Burnett could be traded before his next start, which is Tuesday. "It almost seems imminent something is going to happen,'' a source close to the situation said Sunday. Burnett and Lowell flew with the team to Arizona after the Marlins' 8-4 loss to the Phillies on Sunday. A multi-player deal with the Orioles would be the Marlins' preference if the Orioles agree to take Lowell. Boston has offered a package that includes right-hander Bronson Arroyo. But "that could change with a phone call,'' according to a source who said about four other teams are interested. The Marlins are attempting to package Lowell in any deal involving Burnett. Talk of a three-way trade with Boston and San Diego was reported Sunday with third baseman Sean Burroughs and Arroyo among the players headed to Florida. Burnett and Lowell would wind up in Boston. A report out of the Baltimore area said the Orioles could make the deal if they would accept Lowell as part of the package for starting pitcher Hayden Penn (recently returned to Class AA), relievers Steve Kline and Jorge Julio and outfielder Larry Bigbie. Burnett, who is 5-6 with a 3.64 ERA and will be a free agent at the end of the season, appears unfazed by the reports. "I don't think it is going to happen," he said Sunday.
Lowell Could Be Included In Burnett Trade
The Orioles remain in the running to acquire pitcher A.J. Burnett from the Florida Marlins, according to an industry source, with the package expanding to possibly include third baseman Mike Lowell. One source said the discussions have heated up, though some insiders believe the Chicago White Sox remain the favorites to land Burnett. Burnett is a free agent after this season, and the Marlins have conceded that he won't re-sign. The Orioles want a front-line starter for the rotation, and they'd become a better match if willing to absorb Lowell's contract, which pays him $18 million over the next two seasons. According to the source, the Orioles would acquire Burnett, Lowell and minor league outfielder Eric Reed for a package that includes reliever Jorge Julio, outfielder Larry Bigbie and Double-A pitcher Hayden Penn. The source said reliever Steve Kline has been added to the discussions, and Sidney Ponson could be substituted for Penn. But one Orioles official called that scenario "far-fetched." The Marlins would be hesitant to take on Ponson's salary. He's owed $8 million next season, with another $2 million deferred. Ponson has a limited no-trade clause that doesn't include the Marlins among the 10 teams that would require his permission. Burnett is 5-6 with a 3.64 ERA. He allowed six runs in five innings of Thursday's start against Philadelphia, including three homers in the third. Lowell would move to first base with the Orioles if a trade is consummated, since Melvin Mora is entrenched at third, and also provide another right-handed bat as the designated hitter or in reserve. Manager Lee Mazzilli said he wants to rest Rafael Palmeiro more in the second half.
Palmeiro Records 3000th Career Hit
Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro recorded his 3,000th career hit on Friday night in the 5th inning at Safeco Field. Palmeiro joins an elite class of players with both 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.
Tejada Crowned All-Star MVP
Miguel Tejada, the game's MVP, homered off John Smoltz and the AL overcame Kenny Rogers' bumpy inning to beat the NL 7-5 for its eighth straight win.