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Close but no cigar

It's safe to step away from your computers and laptops. The Orioles aren't expected to announce any deals the rest of the day, and I'd be surprised if anything goes down tomorrow.

Of course, as we all know, everything can change with one phone call. But as of right now, there aren't any significant developments to report.

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Team president Andy MacPhail continues to engage in trade talks and maintain dialogue with free agents - all at the same time. I envision him holding a phone to each ear.

The deadline for ending trade discussions remains flexible.

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"There's really been no change in our circumstances," he said. "We'll always keep an open mind, regardless of what time of year it is."

I still believe Erik Bedard will end up with the Mariners, that the sides are close enough to get this done. Maybe by the weekend. Maybe early next week.

Anyone got plans for Super Bowl Sunday?

MacPhail wouldn't confirm whether he's discussing a long-term deal with Bedard's agent, Mark Pieper, saying he won't negotiate through the newspapers.


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