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The final week before the July 31 deadline for making trades without waivers started with a bang yesterday when the Los Angeles Angels acquired starting pitcher Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitcher Joe Saunders, two minor league players and a PTBNL.

Maybe this opens up the market a little more for the Orioles to deal some of their one-year vets, but what it really does is show that the Angels aren't satisfied with having even one down year. They're seven games behind the surprising Texas Rangers in the American League West, but they've got two months to bounce back and they decided to make a real run at it.

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Obviously, the Rangers were serious, too, since they already had picked up Cliff Lee for the stretch run.

Before you get all hot and bothered about the Orioles inactivity, at least be realistic. There are some real players out there on the market and there are some teams jockeying for the chance to acquire them. Right now, Ty Wigginton and Miguel Tejada would be second-tier considerations, so the O's might have to wait a few days to let the smoke clear.

Then again, there's a pretty good chance the smoke doesn't clear until Saturday, which will leave little time for the Orioles to grab for the table scraps.

No excuses here. The Orioles could have made a bigger push to get something done ahead of time, but the reality of the situation is, they don't have any impact players to deal so they are going to be on everybody's back burner.

Don't despair just yet. It should be an interesting week and Andy MacPhail usually gets something done during the final days of the trading period.

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