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Orioles president Andy MacPhail held a casual press briefing just after the Rule 5 draft before heading home from Las Vegas, where he completed a deal to send Ramon Hernandez to the Reds and came to terms with free agent shortstop Cesar Izturis.

The big fish probably got away, however. The word around the Bellagio Hotel is that the O's offer is well behind the other contenders in the Mark Teixeira derby, though MacPhail was not conceding anything.

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"You don't really know,'' he said. "You really don't know all the information, so you don't know. We don't know exactly where the process stands, but I suspect it's not over until it's over. Until we're told otherwise, we believe we are part of the process."

The Orioles didn't set the world on fire over the past week, but MacPhail seemed satisfied to be going home with Ryan Freel and Izturis and not going home to a team that features Hernandez behind the plate.

"We're pleased with the trade, obviously, or we wouldn't have made it,'' MacPhail said. "We're happy with where we are as far as shortstop.. That's a good outcome for us. What happens with Mark Teixeira we'll see over time."

When asked if he was concerned that there might be negative fan reaction if the Orioles make no dynamic acquisitions, he waxed philosophical.

"You can only do what you can do,'' he said "We tried to make good baseball decisions on what made sense for us."

Sun file photo

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