Baseball's nonwaiver trade deadline is at 4 p.m. today, and the Orioles are still looking to add pieces -- a right-handed hitter and a pitcher are still on the priority list.
Here are some updates on trade talk:
Heading into Wednesday morning, the Orioles and Los Angeles Angels were not involved in active discussions involving left-hander Jason Vargas.
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The clubs have spoken in the past about Vargas, whom the Orioles have coveted for years. But nothing was hot this morning.
Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair coached Vargas in Seattle and is a big supporter of the 30-year-old lefty. But his situation is pretty complicated and one industry source said Vargas "is more of an August guy" -- meaning if he would clear waivers and is pitching well, a deal next month would be more likely.
Vargas, who was 6-4 with a 3.65 ERA in 14 starts, has not pitched since June 17 due to a blood clot under his left armpit. He had surgery in late June, is rehabbing now and is hoping to return to the majors in roughly two weeks.
But anyone that would trade for him today would have to do so assuming he would be fine. It's understandable if suitors are hesitant to give up what it would take to get Vargas until they see him pitch again.
Additionally, the sense in the industry is that the Angels aren’t going to deal him unless their price is met on the pending free agent; they aren’t selling low. Vargas is a candidate to receive a qualifying offer this offseason since the Angels need starting pitching and, at the worst, they’d get a draft pick if he left.
So anything the Angels got now for Vargas would have to be better than a potential high draft pick. They could wait until August, let him return to form and seek to move him then. But it’s also somewhat unlikely he gets through trade waivers if healthy.
The bottom line is the Orioles like him, but things have not heated up on that front.
As for Houston’s Bud Norris, who may or may not start for the Astros at Camden Yards tonight, the Orioles maintain interest there and continue to be a finalist.
The sense, though, seems to be the same this morning as it was earlier this week. The Astros are looking for a haul in prospects since Norris would be under team control for two more years. And other teams in the mix -- such as the Pittsburgh Pirates -- seem more willing to meet that price.
One last thing: The Orioles covet several players with the Seattle Mariners, such as Oliver Perez, Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse, but the indication the Orioles received in the past was that the Mariners were not interested in stripping down.
However, Joel Sherman of the New York Post has tweeted that Morse is “very available.” The Orioles wanted to get Morse this offseason when the Washington Nationals were moving him.
Although he just got back from a quad injury, Morse is a right-handed power hitter who fits in well to a clubhouse. So it will be interesting to see if the Orioles go hard after him.
Really, it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few hours overall.