November 2007 - Baltimore Orioles Wiretap
Orioles, Bedard Stall On Contract
Contract extension talks between the Orioles and Erik Bedard stalled yesterday, increasing the likelihood that team officials will spend part of next week's winter meetings contemplating trade offers for the ace left-hander. "We've had some conversations. We spoke again today, but I'd say that we've cooled in that area," Orioles' President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail said of the negotiations with Bedard's agent Mark Pieper. "We've gone on to other things. It doesn't mean that [negotiations] can't or won't be started again. It just means that they've cooled for now." MacPhail said he didn't consider the development a huge setback in the club's effort to sign a long-term deal with Bedard, who isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2009 season. He also didn't rule out the talks resuming, though none are expected to take place at the winter meetings.
Cardinals Trying To Trade For Tejada
Three days away from formally extending or rejecting arbitration to former World Series' MVP David Eckstein, the Cardinals continue to explore alternatives that include the Baltimore Orioles' Miguel Tejada, the Pittsburgh Pirates' Jack Wilson and free agent Cesar Izturis. Tejada, the 2002 American League MVP, is considered one of the marquee names most likely to be dealt this winter, possibly at next week's winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn. But any pursuit comes with strings attached. Also reportedly coveted by the Los Angeles Angels, Tejada is unlikely to move before Saturday, when clubs must either offer or reject arbitration to their own free agents.
Mets Made Strong Run For Bedard
The Mets made a strong run at Orioles' left-hander Erik Bedard at the General Managers' meetings, but at the time Orioles' President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail was not ready to make a move. MacPhail reportedly gave a similar response to a recent inquiry on Bedard by the Dodgers, but he could jump once he concludes that he can't sign the pitcher long-term. A package of youngsters headed by the Mets' Carlos Gomez or Dodgers' Matt Kemp would be enticing.
No Recent Talks Between Angels And Orioles On Tejada
An industry source said Monday that the Orioles and Angels have not had any significant discussions recently about Miguel Tejada, who is expected to be traded this offseason. However, another league source said the Angels would be interested in Tejada to potentially play third base if the club can't make a trade for Florida Marlins' slugger Miguel Cabrera. Orioles' President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail wouldn't comment on any specific talks, though he said he's in daily contact with several teams as the winter meetings draw closer. They will be held the first week in December in Nashville, Tenn. "A day doesn't go by where you don't talk to at least three or four clubs," MacPhail said. "I would hope we'd be able to do some things. Right now, my best guess would be at Nashville. But we wouldn't hesitate to do some things earlier if it makes sense for us." The Orioles nearly traded Tejada to the Angels before the trade deadline during the 2006 season. However, a potential deal that would have sent Tejada to the Angels for infield prospect Erick Aybar and pitcher Ervin Santana was scrapped when the Orioles insisted on getting a third player in return.
O's Would Like To Extend Bedard
For all the temptation to trade Erik Bedard, there may yet be an even greater pull for the Orioles to keep him. Orioles' President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail won't trade Bedard without first determining what it would take to sign him to a contract extension, according to a report published on Thursday in the Baltimore Sun. MacPhail is set to begin conversations with Bedard's agent before next month's Winter Meetings begin. "Young left-handed starters don't grow on trees," MacPhail told the Sun. "Especially ones that are potentially dominant as Erik has been." Bedard, 28, finished the 2007 season with a 13-5 record, a 3.16 ERA and 221 strikeouts despite missing an entire month with a strained right oblique. His current contract runs through 2009, and an extension would require the Orioles to offer significantly more money per year than the $3.4 million Bedard made in 2007.
Dodgers Really Like Bedard
The Dodgers, who have a well-stocked farm system, have been one of the most aggressive suitors for Erik Bedard, according to a team source. Among the players that have been discussed, the source said, are Matt Kemp, a 23-year-old outfielder; Jonathan Broxton, a 23-year-old reliever; and Clayton Kershaw, a 19-year-old left-handed starter who is regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball. However, those three players reportedly also are being mentioned in trade talks between the Dodgers and Florida Marlins involving the latter's starting third baseman, Miguel Cabrera. If they decide to trade Bedard, the Orioles likely will look for three young major league-ready players in return.
Mets Express Interest In Baltimore's Hernandez
The New York Mets expressed interest in Orioles' catcher Ramon Hernandez. However, the Orioles' asking price - a high-end prospect - was more than what the Mets were willing to give up, according to an industry source. The Mets reportedly are close to signing free-agent catcher Yorvit Torrealba.
Orioles Angry Over Huff's Radio Comments
The Orioles are considering disciplining Aubrey Huff for comments he made during a recent radio appearance, the Baltimore Sun reported on its web site Thursday. Huff appeared on satellite radio's "Bubba The Love Sponge" show on November 8 and, during the 90-minute spot, referred to Baltimore as a "horse (expletive) city" in addition to discussing other racy topics. Team officials reportedly are furious with Huff, who signed a three-year, $20 million deal with the Orioles in January.
Orioles Prez: Yankees Have Plenty Of Minor League Talent Beyond Big 3
Baltimore president Andy MacPhail told the New York Daily News on Thursday that he thinks the Yankees have plenty of minor league talent beyond the three starters that every other team is trying to pry away from Brian Cashman. The Orioles are one of the few teams that won't demand Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy from the Yankees for a player like Miguel Tejada.
Source: Yankees Interested In Tejada
Seeking a potential replacement for free agent third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankees have some interest in the Orioles' star infielder, according to an industry source. How much interest they have, and how willing the Orioles will be to trade their most accomplished player to a division rival remains to be seen. One reason the Orioles balked at trading Tejada to the Boston Red Sox after the 2005 season was that some in the organization, including owner Peter Angelos, were hesitant to help a division rival. "We have to be open-minded to anything," Orioles' President Andy MacPhail said, talking in general about the potential of moving Tejada. "If we think a deal at the end of the day makes sense for us, we're going to do it."