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It is no secret that the Kansas City Royals would like to have Felix Pie patrolling center field. Kansas City GM Dayton Moore made that clear to his beat guys a couple of times during the winter meetings. But according to several people I spoke to, the Royals and Orioles never engaged in formal trade talks in Indianapolis, unless you count a couple of quick lobby conversations among scouts and other team officials. So no, the Orioles didn't ask for Royals first baseman Billy Butler or third baseman Alex Gordon. It's clear that barring somebody becoming available that hasn't been anticipated, the two teams are just not a good fit.

Speaking of Pie, there are several members of the organization that are very much against trading the talented but raw outfielder. I'm not saying he won't be traded because there are enough teams interested and the Orioles are deep in the outfield, but I am saying that the Orioles are going to have to get something enticing back to deal him. Pie's strong second half has earned him some believers in the organization, and probably justified the team's decision not to trade him to the Chicago White Sox last year for third baseman Josh Fields.

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Speaking of overstating trade talk and I'm guilty in this case as much as anyone, but if the Orioles are hot and heavy on Florida Marlins infielder Dan Uggla, it wasn't apparent at the winter meetings. Sure, team officials talked about needs and exchanged ideas in the lobby, but I'm told there was no formal meeting between the two front offices. That could mean nothing but it probably means that neither team think it's very realistic. Andy MacPhail doesn't want a defensively-challenged third baseman and Uggla, a natural second baseman, has said publicly anyway that he has zero interest in playing third anyway. I just can't see this happening unless the Marlins' asking price comes down or the rest of the Orioles' third base options dwindle.

Jeff Zrebiec

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