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Baltimore Sun

What we know

Or maybe it should be, "What we think we know." Or, "What we're pretty sure we know."

This trade isn't officially done and might not be announced today, so don't take it as a bad sign if it gets pretty quiet.

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It's believed that Adam Jones is taking his physical in Baltimore today. It can take several hours for test results to come back, and if we move past business hours, the club might wait until tomorrow to issue a press release.

Team doctors do more than have players turn their heads and cough. These things can take a while.

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I've seen the process work both ways since joining the beat full-time in 1997. I've heard about players taking their physicals in the morning, and an announcement comes later in the afternoon. I've also been forced to wait an extra day.

At the latest, I would hope that the announcement is made tomorrow morning. I won't even entertain the possibility that Jones fails the physical. We've had enough strange twists to last each of us a lifetime.

We're not certain if all five players expected to join the Orioles are required to take a physical. It would be easy to dismiss the need to bring in the fourth and fifth guys in the package, but how do you know if they're completely fit? Do you go by the Mariners' medical records?

While we're waiting for the rest of the day to play out, we can ponder a rotation without Erik Bedard, a rotation without a concrete No. 1 and No. 5 starter.

Jeremy Guthrie seems the most likely to inherit Bedard's spot, since he was No. 2 and the Orioles aren't getting a veteran starter in exchange who could challenge him. Adam Loewen was 4-1 with a 1.64 ERA last spring, and if he duplicates those numbers, he could spark quite a debate. But he didn't pitch after May 1 last year because of his elbow injury. It's just too soon.

Not that Guthrie is a grizzled vet, but he's the most qualified at the moment.

The fifth spot probably will go to Troy Patton unless he has a complete meltdown this spring. Matt  Albers and Hayden Penn also will get serious consideration, but Patton enters camp as the frontrunner. Radhames Liz is more likely to be assigned to Triple-A Norfolk.

A veteran almost certainly will be signed to fill the other spot. The kids will need some sort of protection. The Orioles have spoken with representatives for Kyle Lohse and Steve Trachsel this winter.

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Nobody said rebuilding was pretty. And as we've been reminded, it sure isn't fast.


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